Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant says that his mindset for this upcoming NFL season is different. He says he’s isn’t playing around and that he knows what he’s doing. No more messing up routes he says. Bryant is taking a more serious and concentrated approach to this upcoming season.
That’s a great sign for the Cowboys and bad news for NFL defenses, particularly cornerbacks and safeties. They better look out.
At 24 years old, and 6’2″ 220 pounds, Bryant is a nightmare matchup for any NFL secondary – as NBC play by play man Al Michaels called him in a 2011 preseason game “a monster”. Big, strong, physical and fast, he has the ability to break short routes into long touchdowns. He is a natural hands catcher who can reel in passes over the middle or snag them out of the air on jump balls and fade routes. He has emerged as unquestionably the Cowboys’ best wideout, taking that title from the now oft-injured Miles Austin.
Though Bryant emerged last season, there were a few discouraging signs last year for Cowboys’ fans.
Bryant would on occasion have miscommunications with quarterback Tony Romo. Whether it was on Romo or Bryant, there would be key moments where he needed to come up big and he and Romo would not connect. Regardless of the cause or who’s to blame, this happened too many times.
But towards the end of the season, those miscommunications became less and less. Expect Bryant to build on what was a breakout 2012 season.
Bryant had the best season of his young career last year, catching 92 passes for 1,382 and 12 touchdowns. He finished 6th in the entire NFL in receiving yards, tied for 10th in receptions, and finished 3rd in touchdowns. His 12 touchdowns were more than fellow NFC wide receivers Brandon Marshall, Marques Colston, Victor Cruz, Julio Jones, Larry Fitzgerald and Vincent Jackson. Marshall, Cruz, Jones, Fitzgerald and Jackson made the Pro Bowl.
Bryant did not.
Whether NFL fans and media realize it or not, they added fuel to a fire that was already very much ablaze by not voting him in. And if Bryant says that in 2013 he will be more focused, that he isn’t playing anymore games, and that he knows what he is doing, that indeed is bad news for NFL defenses.
They better look out.