Dez Bryant’s career has been a roller coaster ride since he signed with the Cowboys in 2010. He went from being the medias favorite scapegoat, to the Pro Bowl in 2013.
I have to be honest: there was a time when I thought Dez Bryant would be nothing but trouble. It was run ins with mall security, issues at nightclubs, hanging in strip joints, law suits for racking up a monstrous bill at a jewelry store that he didn’t pay, assaulting his mother and struggling with his play book. What happened?
Was it the chaperone Jerry Jones hired to keep him out of trouble, or did a light come on in his then clouded brain accompanied by a loud voice that said,
“Dez, it’s time to grow up!”
Whatever it was, it has obviously worked. Dez Bryant has gone through a rapid maturation process that has put him in the same conversation as the elite wide receivers among the top 10 in the league. Hell, maybe even the top 5.
Personally, I believe his trip to the Pro Bowl was a good experience for him. It gave him a chance to be around those veteran players who have already gone through the same growing pains he did. To see how they warm up, and how they carry themselves as professionals in general.
Bryant recently commented to members of the media on his experience,
“It felt good. It was an unbelievable experience. I had a great time. It was good to talk about how they do it in their locker room and how we do it in our locker room. Talk about different drills and what makes you good at this and what makes you good at that. It was good conversation.”
If there is one thing the Cowboys have never had a problem with, it’s Dez Bryant showing up out of shape. In fact, he has taken it upon himself to make sure the other receivers are staying in shape.
“I’m going to continue to keep doing what I’m doing,” Bryant said. “It’s important to me to be in the best shape I possibly can be. And make sure the rest of my teammates, they are in shape too as well, especially the wide receivers. I’m really not trying to go into camp taking a step back. We’re trying to build; not only me, but help the rest of the guys build off what we learned from OTAs, minicamp and go from there.”
Mickey Spagnola from dallascowboys.com shed some light on what we here at YDCFF have been preaching and anticipating for a long time now. In a recent article titled,Â “Spagnola: Going On The Offensive Again”.
“First and foremost, this Cowboys team scored 439 points last year, or averaged 27.44 points a game. That represents the most points the Cowboys have scored in a single season over the last six years, having last scored more (455) in 2007 when they went 13-3.
Plus, for more historical perspective, the 439 is the second-highest total the Cowboys have scored in the past 30 years, needing to go all the way back to the team-record 479 scored in 1983 to find more. And only two other times in the franchiseâ€™s now 54-year history has a Cowboys team scored more than 439: In 1980, the Cowboys scored 454 points, and in 1966, if you can believe this in a 14-game season, they tallied 445.”
Now lets get to the good stuff Mickey put out there for us.
“Now wide receiver? Well, remember you got all that encouraging information here last week. Assuming Dez is Dez and impressive youngsters Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley take the next step, along with Dwayne Harris and rookie Devin Street chipping in, this just might be the deepest, most talented group of receivers since Tony Hill, Drew Pearson and Butch Johnson in 1983 when, uh, the Cowboys put up those record 479 points.”
Mickey put some great stuff out there. Now I need to elaborate on it. Those impressive numbers came from Dez Bryant, a rookie, Terrance Williams, and the undrafted Cole Beasley who only saw the field on less than 20% of the snaps. Beasley pretty much being a lock as the number 3 WR is going to create a mismatch nightmare across the middle which means teams are going to have to dedicate at least one of their top DB’s to cover him.
Terrance Williams has a full year of experience under his belt which will make him even more of a threat this year. What does this mean? Dez Bryant is primed for probably the best season of his career. Over the the last couple of seasons defenses pretty much keyed on Dez Bryant. If Cole Beasley is able to prove in camp that he can line up outside and get it done, defensive players wont be able to sit on his routes and will have to focus some of that attention that was on Bryant on him. This in turn will set Bryant up for some big plays down the field. I don’t know about you guys, but I am going all in on Dez Bryant taking that next step and reaching that elite status among the top 5 receivers in the NFL.
Get your popcorn out, there is a new sheriff in town: if Calvin Johnson is Megatron, we will have to change Dez Bryant’s name to Optimus Prime.