This past season Dallas Cowboy Wide Receiver, Dez Bryant finally grew into the confident and consistent star they drafted him to be three years ago. His 2012 stat line read like this: 92 receptions for 1,382 and 12 touchdowns. Mr. Bryant officially broke out in 2012 and is now the # 1 option in Dallas for quarterback Tony Romo.
The 2012 season didn’t start out in grand fashion for Bryant. Back in July got charged with a misdemeanor family violence because of an incident with his mother. Early on in the season, he was plagued with dropped passes, running incorrect routes and not being on the same page with his quarterback. The wrong route he ran against the Chicago Bears which resulted into a pick six comes to mind and the dropped two point conversion against the Baltimore Ravens which resulted in a two point defeat for the Cowboys. Something had to change and Bryant had to grow up fast.
In a receiver’s third year, they are supposed to break out and live up to their billing. After some up and down performances, Bryant started to catch fire and began to take the National Football League by storm. In Week 8 against the Giants at home he reeled in 11 catches for 110 yards. His best catch didn’t even count, with about 10 seconds he out jumped two giant defenders for a touchdown but unfortunately for Dallas, his hand landed out of bounds and they lost the game. That play just shows what an incredible athlete he is and he has great body control as he contorts his body in the air. Against Philly a game the Cowboys desperately needed, he provided the spark as he out leaped a defender for a spectacular touchdown reception. They went on to win that game 38-23. The Cleveland Browns defense was at his mercy as he caught 12 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown. On Thanksgiving against the Redskins, he dominated their corner backs with another 145 yard effort with 2 touchdowns.
By December, Bryant was developing into a beast on the field. Against the Eagles at home he delivered a near 100 yard performance with 2 touchdowns. Going into the following week’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cowboys learned that fellow teammate Jerry Brown Jr had passed away in a car accident. Bryant led the comeback effort delivering a crucial touchdown reception as Dallas trailed in waning moments of the 4th quarter. They went on to win that game 20-19. In the Aftermath of that victory, he found out he had a torn ligament in his finger. He raced into head coaches Jason Garrett’s office and said” I’m Playing.” He played through pain and scored another touchdown as the Cowboys went on to beat the Steelers in Overtime 27-24. The Saints came to town the next week and Bryant light up the New Orleans secondary to the tune of 12 catches for 224 yards and 2 touchdowns. Going into a winner take all match up, he suffered a back injury and couldn’t play any further.
The season that started with inconsistency but it ended with utter dominance against opposing defenses. He started living up to his high draft status and the legacy that comes with wearing the #88 for the Dallas Cowboys. He developed a better rapport with his quarterback, made clutch plays and now is a headache for defenses on Sunday. He isn’t perfect, he was amongst the league leaders in drops and needs to correct that. Everything else was considerably better in his 3rd year. He ran crisper,precise routes and had a better understanding of the playbook. I truly believe the only one that can stop Dez Bryant is himself. He just needs to keep growing in all facets of his game.
In a recent interview with ESPN Dallas, Bryant says his goals are to get 2,000 yards and make the playoffs. Is 2,000 yards a bit far fetched maybe but i love the fact he’s got confidence to throw that number out there plus i always say records are meant to be broken. The playoffs right now is the goal for the Cowboys and for them to get better week by week. He also made an appearance at Men Against Domestic Violence in Dallas. He spoke about the situation with his mom, apologized and as he does when he scores a touchdown threw up an X against domestic violence. Right now Dallas fans are seeing the growth of Dez Bryant on the field but off the field as well. I think the arrow is pointing up words on his progression because he’s entered the elite category as far as receivers go in the NFL . He’s one of the most exciting players to watch on Sundays and the sky is simply the limit for him.