After showing last season for the first time what a force on the field he can be, Dez Bryant is looking to take the next step for the Dallas Cowboys this season, hoping to put all his personal problems in the past, and focus solely on playing like one of the best wide receivers in the NFL.
Bryant, who made news last summer after he was arrested for allegedly striking his biological mother, Angela Bryant, had a huge 2012, his 3rd in the NFL. Bryant didn’t press charges against a son she didn’t raise, and he went on to catch 92 passes (10th in the NFL) for 1382 yards (6th in the NFL) and 12 touchdowns (3rd in the NFL). Everyone thinks he’s going to do even better this season, as long as he is focused on the field, and succeeding on it.
One of the indications as to his star-power potential was being added to the Jordan Brand, recently signing a three-year deal with Michael Jordan. As an act of good faith, Bryant won’t receive any payment during the first year of the contract, with Bryant wanting to prove to everyone and specifically to Michael Jordan that he intends to put his past behind him, and not get into any trouble this season. He’ll receive the salary he’s missing during the second year of the deal.
And how about the field? How good can Bryant be? The Cowboys haven’t added any major offensive weapons, only did some adjusting in their offensive line, and are simply hoping all their key pieces remain fit: Him, Miles Austin, Jason Witten and DeMarco Murray. When you survey the field, Bryant may very be the most talented offensive player on this team, and has a chance to grab with both hands (after dropping some big passes last season against the Baltimore Ravens) the opportunity of becoming a part of the Cowboys record books.
Michael Irvin holds the record for most receptions (111) and yards (1605); Terrell Owens holds the record for most touchdowns in a season (15). Bryant wasn’t too far from those numbers last season, and it seems everyone feels he wasn’t at his best. So a full-force Bryant? He might be record-breaking good.
Some thing that with the Cowboys planning to rely more and more on the running game (if Murray stays healthy, which is a big IF), Bryant’s chances of setting any one of those records are hurting, not to mention Tony Romo loving his connection with Jason Witten, but it didn’t hurt Irvin in the past. When he set his records, Emmitt Smith ran for 1,773 yards and a then NFL-record 25 touchdowns. Jason Garrett simply needs to call the right plays that get the ball in the hand of his best offensive playmaker, which happens to be Bryant.