The Dallas Cowboys couldn’t believe Dez Bryant fell into their laps late in the first round. And since that day, Dez Bryant has walked around DFW with the label of the franchise’s next great receiver on his shoulders. When they issued him the legendary double 8 jersey, those expectations were cemented. He’d have to wear #88 and forever walk in Drew Pearson and Michael Irvin’s footsteps.
Dez Bryant’s tenure so far in Dallas has been plagued with issues about his maturity. Bryant was banned from a local mall briefly and has been plagued by legal issues regarding debts. But many around Valley Ranch have been praising his work ethic towards this upcoming season and are expecting a break out season from the young receiver.
Ben and Skin of ESPN 103.3 in Dallas who were interviewing Dallas Cowboys Executive V.P. Stephen Jones about Dez Bryant and asked him if Dez has met expectations this off season.
“I think it’s right there. Obviously, he’s made a lot of big plays for us. The frustrating thing about Dez when we picked him and then when we came out and saw him is he’s better than we thought in terms of his skills. And so you sit there and you say, ‘Boy, it seems if he could put it all together that he should be one of the dominant receivers and top two or three receivers in the NFL.’ Not that he’s not, but he statistically hasn’t been that way up to this point. So when you’ve got a guy with that type of, and I’ll use this word carefully, freakish-type talent, then of course you think it seems like he could be, statistically as well as a player, one of the best in the business. So that part of it right there, you have higher hopes for him. But I think he is getting better. Guys come in, some guys do, and they’re young and they have to mature some. He’s had his finest camp since he’s been a Cowboy, and he’s an electrifying guy when he’s rolling. Not that he hasn’t had some really solid years, but he’s got a chance to have a breakout year this year.”
“I know one thing,” Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News. “He certainly is different as far as his maturity and as far as his understanding of what it takes to play in the National Football League than when he got here.”
And everyone around Dallas camp has echoed those sentiments. They then asked Stephen Jones about what Dez Bryant needs to develop into.
“Well, I think he needs to be a No. 1 receiver. Not to take anything away from Miles [Austin], but I would submit to you that when we line up out there that the guy that they’re the most worried about is Dez, and he’s got to be that guy, and even when they do try to stop him, the great ones still make a lot of plays. Tony’s got to be able to count on him, he’s got to run the right routes at the right depths and be a precise route runner. Those are the things he’s got to improve on. If he can do those things, then obviously we can really achieve what we want to accomplish, which is win a championship.”
Everyone in Dallas is viewing this as a championship season or bust. And Dez Bryant is a big part of whether this team will be successful or not. Especially with a question mark at the third receiver spot after Laurent Robinson’s departure.