Dez Bryant is coming off his best year as an NFL receiver. He amassed 1382 yards and scored 12 touchdowns in the 2012 campaign.
Dez has improved his production each year he has been in the league. In 2010, his numbers were 561 yards and six TDs. In 2011, he had 928 and nine. Good health has been one factor in his growth. Gaining experience has been another. Maturing as a person may be the most important.
Longtime Cowboys writer and ESPN contributor Jean-Jacques Taylor believes Bryant is poised to race into the Cowboys’ history books in 2013:
The words are a harbinger for a player poised to turn in the best performance we’ve ever seen from a Dallas Cowboys receiver. Better than the best year Bob Hayes ever had. Or Drew Pearson. More impressive than any season Michael Irvin put together. Terrell Owens, too.
Irvin set the franchise record for receptions (111) and yards (1,605) in 1995 and Owens established the team record for touchdowns in 2007 with 15. Bryant will go at least one better in all of those categories this season, which means all he needs is an additional 20 catches for 224 yards and four touchdowns added onto 2012′s total.
Why will he reach those numbers?
Bryant’s mental acumen is merging with his physical talent.
Bryant may or may not meet those expectations, but his own aspirations and the team’s high hopes are certainly not unfounded. He is a top-flight talent, a physical specimen, and a competitor. But to be the man in Dallas, Dez has to commit to simply being A MAN first. This according to former NFL player and head coach, Herm Edwards of ESPN:
“He is an outstanding player. There’s no doubt about that…This guy’s an impact player for the Dallas Cowboys…We’re watching him mature…He has to understand this: We’re male by birth; we have to choose to be men. When you become a man, you make god choices, you understand your responsibility and you’re accountable.“ Herm Edwards on Dez Bryant
Here is hoping Dez is ready to be a man…and to be THE MAN for the Dallas Cowboys receiving corps in 2013.