Oct 25, 2010; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant (88) returns a punt for a 88 yard for a touchdown against New York Giants punter Matt Dodge (6) in the second quarter at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Dez Bryant: Inside the numbers


The stories have been written about Dez Bryant being less than impressive since being drafted by he Cowboys in 2010, as well as  disappearing in the fourth quarter of most Cowboys games. On the flip side there have been some flashes from Bryant that would make one believe that he is ready to take the next step in his young career. I wanted to take a closer look at Bryant’s production during the 2011 season to see if there was any truth that his numbers dropped in the second half of games.

Jan 1, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) runs with the ball after a reception during the second half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Alan Maglaque-US PRESSWIRE

I’m not about to write an article criticizing Bryant because I think he has tremendous talent and could become an explosive receiver in the NFL.  I want nothing more than for him to be an elite receiver for the Cowboys, but only time will tell. He has only been a starter in the league for one season and he is still very young. In 2011 Bryant caught 63 passes for 928 yards and 9 touchdowns. But the problem is that this is a “now” league. Big time players need to show something quickly or they start to be questioned. Laurent Robinson put on a Cowboys uniform for the first time last season and then went out and caught 11 touchdowns from Tony Romo like they have been playing together for ten seasons. With Bryant it does not seem to be that way, at least not right now. So why does Bryant seem to disappear in the second half as many have written? Is it because he can’t get open? Is he still learning the offense? Does Romo not trust him at important times yet? Is it the way the defenses are playing against him? There could be a combination of reasons why. As I started to look at Bryant’s stats for 2011 nothing really seemed to jump out until I started to break down the numbers even more.

Listed below are Bryant’s 2011 numbers broken down by each quarter.

Season Totals by Quarter

REC

YDS

TDS

1st Quarter

19

330

5

2nd Quarter

18

228

2

3rd Quarter

8

100

0

4th Quarter

17

244

2

Overtime

1

26

0

Totals

63

928

9

I then broke down the numbers for Bryant’s first seven games of 2011. Keep in mind that he missed the second game of the season against the 49ers.

First 7 games of Season

REC

YDS

TDS

1st Quarter

9

180

2

2nd Quarter

8

129

1

3rd Quarter

3

46

0

4th Quarter

6

88

1

Totals

26

443

4

Here are Bryant’s numbers for the last eight games of 2011.

Last 8 games of Season

REC

YDS

TDS

1st Quarter

10

150

3

2nd Quarter

10

99

1

3rd Quarter

5

54

0

4th Quarter

11

156

1

Overtime

1

26

0

Totals

37

485

5

After looking at his numbers listed above, his last eight games seem to be a little better than his first seven games as far as production. As I dug deeper things started to get interesting when it came to Bryant’s second half production. The Cowboys played eight games in 2011 that weren’t decided until the end that Bryant played in. The numbers show that he was barely involved in those games. Like I’ve said before, so many things could be contributing as to why this is the case, but one thing is certain is that the Cowboys need to find a way to correct it so that Bryant can become an important part of the offense when the game is on the line.

Here are Bryant’s second half numbers in the Cowboys eight games that weren’t decided until the end in 2011.

Second half of Cowboys 8 close game of 2011

REC

YDS

TDS

Lost to Jets 27-24

0

0

0

Beat Redskins 18-16

2

50

0

Lost to Lions 34-30

0

0

0

Lost to Patriots 20-16

0

0

0

Beat Redskins 27-24 in OT

1

26

0

Beat Dolphins 20-19

1

16

0

Lost to Cardinals 19-13 in OT

5

56

0

Lost to Giants 37-34

1

50

1

Totals

10

198

1

Here are Bryant’s second half numbers in those same eight games broken down even more by third and fourth quarters.

Second half of Cowboys 8 close games of 2011

REC

YDS

TDS

3rd Quarter

3

46

0

4th Quarter

6

126

1

Quarter

1

26

0

Totals

10

198

1

I also noticed that in eight of the 15 games that Bryant played in he had zero receptions in the third and fourth quarters. Whatever the reasons are for Bryant’s lack of production in the second half, especially in those close games something need to change. I understand that numbers don’t always show everything, but after doing the research from 2011 there is some concern. Bryant needs to be counted on and trusted by Romo that when his number is called he will be there. Romo already has a connection with Jason Witten and Miles Austin. If Bryant can be added to that list the offensive production can be staggering. Hopefully in 2012 Bryant will start growing into the receiver that the Cowboys traded up for in 2010.

 

 

Tags: Dallas Cowboys Dez Bryant Featured Popular Tony Romo

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