After recording just one catch for 14 yards in the Cowboys’ 38-35 victory over the Colts on Sunday, Dallas rookie receiver Dez Bryant broke his ankle on a kickoff return in the fourth quarter. The Oklahoma State product underwent surgery on Monday morning and will be placed on injured reserve, ending his rookie season. Through 12 games, Bryant recorded 45 receptions for 561 yards and six receiving touchdowns. Bryant finished the year with eight total touchdowns, adding two more on punt returns. The 24th overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft finished his rookie year one reception shy of tying Hall of Famer Bob Hayes rookie franchise record. Dallas interim head coach Jason Garrett had only positives to say of the rookie. “He certainly made great strides in his rookie year,” Jason Garrett said.
Bryant was electrifying during his first NFL season. He was productive from his very first game; he caught eight passes for 56 yards in the season opener at Washington. His stats and high level of productivity are even more incredible considering he missed a majority of his junior season at Oklahoma State due to a suspension and then all five of the Cowboys’ preseason games with a high ankle sprain. For a guy to come in and perform the way he did with as little preparation as he had is incredible. Also, to play that well directly following an injury shows that he’s no wuss. You’ve got to love a kid that talented with his kind of work ethic and toughness. If and when quarterback Tony Romo returns this season or next, this offense has the potential to be the best in the business with Bryant in the lineup alongside fellow receivers Miles Austin and Roy Williams. Add tight end Jason Witten and the trio of running backs and you’ve got a dynamite squad. If you’re a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan, 2011 can’t come fast enough.