It seems everyone in the football world is hounding Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant about becoming an elite NFL player in his third season. Bryant has been superb on the football field for the Cowboys in his first two pro seasons, but has had his problems off it. So why are all these fans, analysts, writers and what he calls “haters” ragging him like this?
The numbers floating around in all this talk are 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. “Bryant is a 1,000-yard, 10-touchdown-type receiver” and “there’s no reason Dez should record 1,000 yards and 10 scores in 2012.”
They say this like it will take some sort of miracle for Bryant to reach those numbers, but that talk is just ignorant. Bryant recorded 928 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns in 13 games last season, so will it really be that hard for him to compile 72 more yards and one more score this year, especially if he plays 16 full games?
One game would make all the difference in the world. Dez put up 71 and a touchdown against the New York Jets last year; 90 and a score against the St. Louis Rams; 74 and another end zone dance against the Buffalo Bills; 68 and a touchdown against the Washington Redskins; and 86 and a score against Patrick Peterson and the Arizona Cardinals. Basically, the numbers he lacked to get to 1,000 total yards and 10 touchdowns in 2011 are near his usual numbers for a game.
However, almost 75 percent of Bryant’s NFL production has come in the first half of games, so he should garner some criticism. However, that should be about his overall numbers because those are there.
An area in which Bryant can improve is helping his team in crunch time. Whether that’s making acrobatic catches for touchdowns (see this video and you’ll become a believer) or drawing the attention of a stud cornerback like the Jets’ Darrelle Revis, he can help the Cowboys win, which is the ultimate goal – not stats – despite what these recent nags are saying.
To answer these “questions,” Bryant should become an elite NFL receiver in 2012. Cowboys Hall of Famer Michael Irvin said Dez can and will become the league’s best receiver, but he didn’t say when. Many talented young receivers like Bryant seem to come of age during their “magical” third season as fantasy football owners call it and it’s time for Dez to justify his jersey number – 88 – which was made famous by Drew Pearson and Irvin before him.