WR Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
HT: 6-2, WT: 225, Born: 11-4-1988, College: Oklahoma State, Drafted: Round 1, Pick 24
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Average draft position
Current as of May 21st. [Full ADP list]Overall: B Marshall (14), A Rodgers (15), Dez Bryant (16), C Johnson (17), J Graham (18)
Position: A Green (12-WR2), B Marshall (14-WR3), Dez Bryant (16 - WR4), J Jones (19-WR5), D Thomas (23-WR6)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of May 21st. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: J Jones (14), M Forte (15), Dez Bryant (16), A Morris (17), D Thomas (18)
Position: B Marshall (12-WR3), J Jones (14-WR4), Dez Bryant (16 - WR5), D Thomas (18-WR6), P Harvin (23-WR7)
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Scouts never doubted Dez Bryant had All Pro potential from the neck down; it was a question of whether he had the mental focus and maturity to ever realize his immense potential. 2012 will be remembered as the year Bryant answered those questions, and then some. In his third NFL season, Bryant was absolutely dominant to the tune of 92 receptions for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns. He had at least 100 yards receiving or a touchdown in 10 of 16 games, and routinely excelled in spite of physical double coverage. Bryant is a physical marvel, and his route running in 2012 took a major step forward; perhaps indicating a more refined understanding of head coach Jason Garrett’s complex passing scheme. While the knucklehead factor will never be completely removed from the equation, Bryant has done enough to be considered among the best at his position entering 2013.
Latest NewsCowboys | Two battling for No. 3 WR job (Wed May 22, 10:08 PM) - Dallas Cowboys WR Dwayne Harris is considered the front-runner for the No. 3 wide receiver job behind WRs Miles Austin and Dez Bryant, and it is believed WR Terrance Williams will need a strong training camp to supplant him. Our View: Harris isn't the downfield, big play weapon that the rookie Williams is. However, Harris has great run after the catch ability and sharp moves in the open field.
link to story Cowboys | Head coach praises Dez Bryant (Wed May 22, 08:03 PM) - Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said WR Dez Bryant is 'really, really a joy to coach.' 'He has such passion for the game,' Garrett added. 'He loves it. He loves his teammates. He loves to play.' Our View: Bryant has really flourished as a pro. He's always had incredible talent but now has been playing up to his enormous potential. His ADP is WR4 at this time and he's coming off the board at 2.08.
link to story Cowboys | Dez Bryant found himself (Tue May 21, 04:54 PM) - Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant said he found himself, and that has led to a quiet offseason with no off-field issues. 'I found myself,' Bryant said Tuesday after the Cowboys' first organized team activity. 'I'm comfortable with my life. I'm enjoying being in the NFL. I wish it could've been a couple years back, but I had to go through a couple of things to figure it out. I think I got it and I'm just more focused on my job and doing what I love to do and that's playing football.' Our View: It's good that Bryant is finding peace in his life off the field. With his renewed focus we should see him dominate once again this year. Bryant is a top five fantasy WR as his current ADP is WR4 and he's coming off the board at 2.08.
link to story
|1||New York Giants|
|2||at Kansas City Chiefs|
|3||St. Louis Rams|
|4||at San Diego Chargers|
|7||at Philadelphia Eagles|
|8||at Detroit Lions|
|10||at New Orleans Saints|
|12||at New York Giants|
|14||at Chicago Bears|
|15||Green Bay Packers|
|16||at Washington Redskins|
2012 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Dez Bryant wasn’t the focal point of this offense on Wednesday but still managed a decent game regardless. Bryant lost out on touchdown opportunities to teammates like WR Ogletree and Austin but he still made his presence known and made several big catches to help his team out. Bryant got a short grab over the middle and turned this into a big gain after the catch. Bryant is an incredibly physical and dominant receiver when his mind is in it. He showed his excellent hands too on a pass to the outside, just staying in bounds for the reception. Bryant made an explosive play downfield, getting ahead of the Giants secondary and running down the sideline before narrowly missing the goal line for the score. Bryant later had a slant pattern to help seal the victory for the Cowboys. Bryant was simply a piece the puzzle on Wednesday but still could have easily scored and will have many opportunities this season as Romo has great trust in his play making ability. Ogletree had such a big game that it was difficult for any other WR to produce as much as he stole the spotlight.
Week 2 - Bryant was 3rd on the team with seven targets, but it was a real struggle for the up and down WR. Bryant’s first target was a bad drop, hitting Bryant square in the hands, the play before the Romo INT. After the Cowboys’ 95-yard TD drive, the defense forced a quick three-and-out for Seattle. After working to get a 3rd and short, Romo found Bryant on a quick slant, but Earl Thomas dropped the hammer on Bryant and jarred the ball loose. Bryant seemed to really struggle after that, despite all his catches coming post dropped pass and the Thomas hit. Bryant fumbled his first catch, for one yard, but Dallas recovered. Two plays later Bryant made another catch, but was tackled immediately, only gaining five yards and Dallas was forced to punt. The following drive Bryant had his longest catch of 11 yards, but he bobbled the ball on the come back route and nearly dropped the easy completion. The communication was clearly off between Romo and Bryant, but Bryant has to do a better job maintaining focus for a full 60 minutes regardless of how the game is progressing.
Week 3 - Bryant was excellent in week 3 against the Buccaneers. In addition to a 44 yard punt return up the right side in the fourth quarter that helped put the game away, Bryant was almost unguardable between the hash-marks. He made a number of tough catches in traffic using his body to shield smaller defenders from the ball and his athleticism to get to balls that were off-target. He had a pair of 18-yard receptions on deep post patterns as well. Bryant is running a lot of deep-crosses and posts to go with quick outs and bubble screens. The Cowboys seem intent on getting him the ball all over the field and do not limit him to lining up on just one side pre-snap.
Week 4 - Dez Bryant finished the game with eight receptions for 105 yards and a two point conversion to end the game. However, the fantasy stats don’t really tell the tale of how Bryant was a huge contributor in why the Cowboys lost this game. He was covered well by the Bears for most of the game, and didn’t even have a pass thrown toward him until late in the first quarter. The play was on 3rd and 5, and Bryant ran a short curl route. Romo threw a good back-shoulder pass where only Bryant could catch it, but he didn’t get his head around fast enough and the ball bounced off of him, killing the drive. On the next series, Bryant had two great catches for 16 and 10 yards, but killed the drive again on 3rd and 4 from the Chicago 38 when he failed to gain separation from Charles Tillman on a fly route, stumbled and watch the timing pass sail over his head, ending the drive on the Chicago 38. After the Bears kicked their first field goal to go up 3-0, on 3rd and 9, Romo recognized a blitz and expect Bryant to run a curl but instead, he ran a double move into a ‘Go’ pattern. Romo threw the pass to where he expect Bryant to be, and Charles Tillman made one of the easiest receptions of his career, returning it 25 yards for a TD. Yet Romo met with Bryant on the sideline and continued to feed him the ball, hitting him on two short passes (a slant and a curl). The second gave the Cowboys the ball on the Chicago 10, and Miles Austin scored on the next play, just before the half. On the opening drive of the third quarter, Romo hit Bryant on consecutive pass plays of 25 and 20 yards, and it seemed as if Romo and Bryant were finally in sync. But with just over two minutes left in the third quarter, and the Cowboys in desperate need of a score, on 3rd and 6 from the Chicago 22, Romo hit Bryant on a perfect square in, but Bryant lost focus and dropped the ball. The Cowboys had to settle for a field goal after that. In the fourth quarter, down 27 to 10, Bryant had beaten his man down the right side of the field – but when Romo hit him with the pass, he dropped it again. Romo went back to him on the next play to keep him interested, a short seven yard square in. Two plays later, after converting a critical 4th and 3, Romo hit DeMarco Murray over the middle for a five yard gain, but Bryant was flagged for an illegal shift, and the replay revealed that he looked like he wasn’t focused on what was going on. While Bryant may be the most talented receiver on the Cowboy roster, it’s clear that he doesn’t always have his head in the game. Between the off-the-field issues, and his concentration lapses on the field, he’s definitely a mixed bag of potential and liability. It will be interesting to see if the Cowboys adjust their game plans after the bye week to keep him more involved in the game.
Week 6 - Bryant had an excellent day against Baltimore up until the final play of the game. Despite being double-covered with a safety over the top on most plays, Bryant was able to use his size and strength to get open on a variety of routes. He primarily ran skinny posts and crossing patterns from the left side and was targeted an astounding 15 times by Tony Romo. Unfortunately, Bryant was unable to break many receptions for large gains as the Ravens were focused on keeping him from getting to full speed in the open field. He did still break tackles after the catch and at one point, carried a defender for five yards on his back to convert a first down. Bryant finished the day with 13 catches and two redzone touchdowns where he showed excellent hands and positioning to seal his defender off from the ball. However, Bryant had a chance to tie the game on a two-point conversion at the end of the contest and the ball bounced off of his chest. Tony Romo threw the ball quite hard but considering Bryant already had 13 receptions on the day and appeared locked in with his quarterback, it was surprising to see him not make what should have been a routine catch.
Week 7 - Dez Bryant registered only two receptions for 14 yards as Carolina CB Josh Thomas, replacing the injured Chris Gamble, did a decent job to keep him quiet. Dallas was unable to go downfield very often with Carolina playing a lot of two-deep, and so Bryant’s threat was limited. He was also used on punt returns, including one punt that he strangely fielded at the five yard line. Bryant’s lack of production can be attributed to the Panthers’ defense rather than his own poor play.
Week 8 - Dez Bryant’s day did not start off well on Sunday. Romo anticipated Bryant would run a square in pattern down the field but Bryant was going deep, causing Romo to throw the ball right to the Safety for the easy interception. Bryant was able to get wide open down the field later as the Giants blew the coverage. Bryant got a big play down the sideline but an even better throw from Romo would have resulted in a touchdown with all the space he had to work with. Bryant hauled in a lot of great catches down the sideline on fade patterns, simply blowing by his man and out leaping the defender for the big play. Bryant was able to get outside leverage and a step on the defender before catching the ball. Bryant also got some passes on curl patterns, picking up first downs and moving the chains. Bryant was very unfortunate not to score on the final drive. Bryant got his hands on the pass deep down the field in the endzone but his hand landed on the white paint first which resulted in the play being overturned and ruled incomplete. Bryant tends to make a lot of big plays on basic routes, such as fades/slants/streak patterns where the margin for error is small. Bryant’s gaffes with regards to running the wrong route have occurred on timing patterns such as in’s/curls/outs that he seems to struggle with more.
Week 9 - Despite being singled covered on short routes much of the game, Bryant was never able to really get going against the Falcons on Sunday night. With Asante Samuel providing tough man coverage and the Falcons pass rush collapsing the pocket, Bryant was unable to get in to his deep routes before Tony Romo had to throw the ball. Rather than adjusting the mix of deep crosses and double-moves Bryant was running, the Cowboys instead chose to complete safe passes to Jason Witten and Felix Jones underneath. The strategy led to multiple completions but an inability to connect with Bryant deep left the Cowboys with too many stalled drives and simply not enough ball movement to get them in to scoring position consistently. Bryant's best catch came on a 15 yard completion down the left side. On the play, Bryant drew an interference flag against Dunta Robinson but still managed to use his strength to fight through contact and make the reception. Bryant looked focused and ran crisp routes, he simply was not able to get in to the flow of the passing game with Tony Romo.
Week 10 - Bryant had an excellent game against the Eagles. He was able to come through with big plays at opportune times and was one of the main reasons Tony Romo had such an efficient day from the quarterback position. Bryant's two best catches came on deep throws from Romo down the right sideline. On his first reception, Bryant was able to haul in a 49 yard catch in double-coverage to move the Cowboys deep in to Philadelphia territory. On his last catch, Bryant was able to weather being interfered with by Dominique Rogers-Cromartie and make a sensational catch for a thirty yard touchdown that tied the game for Dallas. Bryant was only targeted five times as he primarily ran deep go routes and deep crosses from the right side. From the left side, Bryant primarily ran drag routes across the field and quick curls. Bryant continues to show sensational athleticism and appears to finally understand the timing required between quarterback and receiver to excel consistently on long pass plays.
Week 11 - It was a career day for the polarizing receiver. Without Joe Haden, the Cleveland secondary was no match for the Dallas receivers, especially Bryant, who had his way with favorable matchups. Without consistent pressure on Tony Romo, Bryant could have had a much bigger day. That said, his 145 yards were by far a career-high, his 12 receptions were second-most, and he scored his fourth touchdown in the past six weeks. He was mainly targeted on short throws as the Dallas offensive line rarely allowed time for deep routes and Bryant could take advantage of his physicality after the catch. Bryant drew three penalties on defensive backs in addition to his stat line and even showed some rare chemistry with Romo on a beautiful double move for a big gain. Bryant was rather quiet in the first half, as was the entire Dallas offense, until the third quarter when they shifted to shorter throws to compensate for the offensive line issues with protection. Romo missed Bryant on a deep route against single coverage with a short throw – that was likely a touchdown on a well-thrown pass. Bryant scored in the fourth to take the lead on a gorgeous Romo pass into the end zone, again beating single coverage. Bryant’s lone missed opportunity came in overtime when he failed to haul in a third down slant route on the edge of field goal range. This was an example of the type of games Bryant owners and supporters have been expecting. He dominated the targets, took advantage of single coverage, and did not make any mental mistakes during the game. With the Redskins and the disinterested Eagles both coming to Dallas in the next two weeks and hosting New Orleans in Week 16, Bryant could be in line for more big games as the season heads down the stretch.
Week 12 - With Miles Austin out, the Cowboys down a heap of points, and Tony Romo running for his life, it was the Dez Bryant Show on Thanksgiving Day at the House That Jerry Built. Bryant absolutely exploded for one hundred and forty-five yards on eight catches and two scores, the second time in two games he has eclipsed the century mark. The Oklahoma State product caught a shallow crossing route pass from Romo and took it down the field – burning the meek Washington secondary – for an eighty-five yard score in the third quarter, and exhibited great ball control skills on a fourth-and-four pass from Romo into the end zone for another score that kept the Cowboys’ faint hopes alive. Washington’s underwhelming secondary had no solution for the overpowering Bryant, who seemed to run every route in the Cowboys’ tree to help Dallas advance the ball down the field. Bryant did lose a fumble on an eleven-yard catch in the second quarter. Television coverage showed Bryant admitting responsibility for his mistake, and he would do his best to make up for his miscue as he proved pivotal in the Cowboys’ unsuccessful comeback attempt.
Week 13 - Dez Bryant had a sensational game against the Eagles on Sunday night. Despite inconsistent and often erratic play, Bryant is clearly one of the most talented receivers in the league when he is focused and in sync with Tony Romo. He finished the day against the Eagles with 6 receptions and two touchdowns and was instrumental in the Cowboys victory. Bryant's first touchdown came on a busted play. On the play, Bryant lines up in the slot to the left and ran a quick out. Quarterback Tony Romo was flushed out of the pocket to the right. Sensing Romo was in trouble, Bryant turned back to the middle of the field where Romo threw him the ball. Bryant quickly accelerated to the middle of the field away from the defense before cutting upfield to the end zone. His second touchdown was equally impressive. On the play, Bryant caught a quick receiver screen from Romo on the right side of the field. He quickly darted upfield towards the end zone using his strength to muscle defenders backwards while showing excellent footwork to stay in bounds long enough to cross over the right pylon. Bryant's best catch came on a side line throw the to right side. Bryant ran a go route down the right sideline on the play and quarterback Tony Romo threw a low, hard pass to him. Bryant reached down behind the defender and caught the ball with one hand on his way out of bounds.
Week 14 - Dez Bryant salvaged his day with a late touchdown, but was held in check by a remarkably stout Adam 'Pacman' Jones on the day. Bryant's 3 non-touchdown catches went for merely 27 yards, as he just couldn't get anything going. Bryant did have a couple drops on the day, including a catch and drop after a big hit by Reggie Nelson on a controversial personal foul call. Bryant also had a -11 yard run on a curious end-around playcall that the defense simply swarmed. As mentioned, Bryant's touchdown catch came on a crossing route where the offensive line gave Romo time to develop, and Bryant displayed a good route and eluded a tackler while stumbling into the endzone. Unfortunately for him, there wasn't much else exciting on the day, as this was his lowest yardage output since Week 9.
Week 15 - Bryant caught his first pass against Keenan Lewis on a curl route when he wheeled Lewis around for a first down and 12 yards. Bryant caught a 14 yard pass on third and 15 that was negated for a holding call on the offensive line. Bryant caught a quick pass in the flat for a seven yard gain against off coverage. Bryant was having a quiet game, but Tony Romo found him in the endzone when he lost Keenan Lewis by adjusting to a back shoulder throw that the defensive back couldn't see. Bryant caught a deep comeback in single coverage against Keenan Lewis for 13 yards and a first down.
Week 16 - To say Dez Bryant had a monstrous day would be an understatement. 224 yards and 2 touchdowns is solid for some quarterbacks, let alone wide receivers. Bryant consistently beat 1 on 1 coverage despite his injured finger, showing amazing ability to pluck balls out of midair, breaking tackles and creating yards after catch at will. Bryant's first touchdown was a 58 yarder that he snagged out of the air, beating 1 on 1 coverage. Bryant's second touchdown was also a 58 yarder, but was potentially even more spectacular. Bryant caught the ball on a short pass and proceeded to break tackles and create over 40 yards after the catch on his way to the highlight reel. Bryant also had several other huge catches on the day, including a 26 and a 41 yarder. The 26 yarder was on a critical 3rd and 10 conversion, while the 41 yarder was another play which he simply manhandled his 1 on 1 coverage. Inexplicably, after the second half opened, the Cowboys really didn't get the ball in Bryant's hands, which may have been a mistake. Bryant didn't have any noticeable missteps on the day, and is clearly in the upper echelon of wide receivers in the NFL at this point.
Week 17 - Bryant led all Cowboys receivers with seventy-one receiving yards in Sunday night’s loss against the Redskins. The third-year receiver also suffered late-game back spasms that caused him to exit the field of play. Surprisingly enough, the press coverage from oft-maligned Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall kept Bryant from making a substantial impact in the NFC East showdown. Bryant and quarterback Tony Romo did connect for a twenty-four yard completion on a critical third-and-fourteen, where Bryant exhibited incredible body control to catch the ball in bounds and complete the play. Bryant’s timing with Romo was impeccable – Romo threw the ball before Bryant was able to turn around to make a play.