As child growing up in Maryland I had a few Dallas Cowboy jerseys I would wear but none meant more to me than my 88 jersey. I was too young to witness what Drew Pearson did while wearing that number so the 88 I wore was Michael Irvin’s. Michael Irvin was electrifying to watch. It was all about his enthusiasm on the field. I took a trip to Dallas in 2009 and actually met both Drew Pearson and Michael Irvin. Michael had a show to be at in the morning so he left before I had a lot of time to talk with him but Drew stayed and hung out. He met my wife and kid, took pictures with us, and even let me wear his super bowl ring. Both players seemed wrapped up in the 88 persona. Both seemed to understand what this number meant. Antonio Bryant was chosen to wear this number and failed. So now it is Dez Bryant’s turn to bring that fame back to 88.
It is hard for me to pick a favorite player on today’s Cowboys team but if I had to it would be Dez Bryant. He seems to be right on the cusp of greatness. No one knows whether he will actually be one of the leagues greats or not but he certainly seems to be coming along. I think this will be Dez’s breakout season so I figured I will write up this article on him.
Desmond Demond Bryant was born on November 4, 1988 in Lufkin Texas. His football career started while attending Lufkin High School. As a senior was a member of the Texas Football Super Team first-team and was an All-state selection; after recording 53 receptions for 1,207 yards with 21 touchdowns.
Bryant attended Oklahoma State University, where he played for Coach Mike Gundy’s Oklahoma State Cowboys football team in 2007 and 2008. As a freshman in 2007, he finished second on the team with 43 receptions for 622 yards and six touchdowns in 12 games. Bryant finished the 2008 season with 87 receptions for 1,480 yards and 19 touchdowns, including 2 punt returns for touchdowns. Bryant was labeled ineligible for the rest of the 2009 season on October 7 for violating NCAA rules. He didn’t fully disclose his interaction with another former Cowboys player named Deion Sanders. He was considered the best receiver in 2009 and a Heisman contender before he was suspended. To end out his college career though he went second team All-America in his first year and first team All-America in his second.
In the 2010 NFL Draft the Cowboys traded up from No. 27 spot with the New England Patriots for their No. 24 spot to grab Dez. Since then it has been an up and down roller-coaster of a ride. Dez has faced injury problems on the field and more problems off the field. He has had an altercation with mall security. He had some issues with a jeweler that he owed a significant chunk of money. But on the field he has shown flashes of what I think he will ultimately become, a beast. His rookie season ended with 45 receptions for 561 yards and 6 receiving touchdowns. Roy Williams being on the team slightly halted his production in my opinion. In his second season he had 63 receptions for 928 yards and 9 touchdowns as the teams number two receiver.
Since the end of last season Dez has done all the right things. He has settled his jewelry dept. He has not gotten into really any trouble off the field at all. I think he now understands how quickly the Dallas media will turn on you and make everything negative. He has also been working with the strength and conditioning coach and has his body in check. His body fat percentage is 3.1%! If you are trying to get a feel for what that means just think of how cut Dez’s physique was coming into the NFL. He weighed in at around 227 pounds but was still lean as a rookie. Last year he was around 225 but looked to be in great shape. There were questions about his conditioning, especially towards the end of games. He is now at 215 pounds and has been working non-stop in the offseason to be ready to shut up his doubters sooner rather than later. I have to say I respect his approach and I think he will do just that. I feel that his conditioning, his off the field issues, and his knowledge of the playbook have all been questions in the past. I feel like he has fixed every single one of these problems in the offseason. I think he is turning into the player we hoped he would right in front of our eyes.
If I ever get the chance to interview Dez Bryant I would love to tell you more about him. I really do think this is his year to become the man Jerry thought he was when he assigned him the number 88.
Hopefully soon he will stop destroying his poor brother in Madden and play me.
Come see me Dez…..
On Xbox as “SkinsSuck82”