Dallas Cowboys third year wide receiver and Denver Broncos third year wide receiver Demaryius Thomas will forever be compared to one another the rest of both’s careers. Both wide receivers were selected in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft. Both wide receivers presented tremendous value to the drafting teams as Thomas was selected 22nd overall and Bryant was selected by the Dallas Cowboys two picks later with the 24th overall selection. Bryant came into the draft after being suspended for the majority of the 2009 college football season for violating an NCAA bylaw. Demaryrius Thomas was coming off a breakout season at Georgia Tech in 2009 as a redshirt Junior.
Many a Cowboy fan have debated, over the past three seasons, Dez or Demaryrius? Demaryrius Thomas had little risk and was not known as a trouble maker or a team liability. Dez Bryant on the other hand entered into the NFL with baggage despite never being in trouble with law enforcement officials. Demaryrius Thomas battled injuries during the 2010 season missing the final six games and the first five games of the 2011 season due to an Achilles injury in the offseason. Dez Bryant broke a foot during his rookie season causing him to miss the final four games of the 2010 NFL season. Both eerily similar fates during their rookie seasons along with similar statistical numbers. Dez really seemed to contribute much more than Thomas during each receivers rookie campaign, Bryant reaching pay dirt four more times than Thomas. Bryant ending with 6 touchdowns while Thomas ended with two.
Dez Bryant managed to play the entire 2011 season while Thomas missed the first five games. Bryant came short of his first 1000 yard receiving season by 72 yards while still reeling in 9 touchdowns, Thomas managed only 4 touchdowns that season but did manage a higher 17.4 yard per catch average than Bryant. This season is yet to be complete and both Demaryrius and Bryant are once again almost mirror images of one another. The Cowboys’ Bryant has 79 receptions entering into week 16 and the Denver Broncos’ Thomas has one less catch. Thomas once again has the higher yards per reception average and more overall yards of the two but Bryant once again leads in touchdown receptions by two. In fact Dez Bryant’s 10 touchdowns, this season, have all came during the second half of games. Bryant’s 10 second half touchdowns is tops in the league and seems to indicate Cowboys QB Tony Romo’s affinity for Bryant in crunch time.
Both receivers are in fact neck and neck statistically speaking and while Thomas never has seemed to have negative baggage there is a general feeling that Bryant seems to be maturing where as his counterpart had less of a need to do so. Yet Dez Bryant seems to be destined for the lime light. Bryant is magnetic and electrifying on the field with some of the performances he has displayed this season. Bryant has had two back to back multiple touchdown games and narrowly missing a three TD game performance in week twelve.
Many will always remember the 80 yard touchdown reception that Demaryrius Thomas had versus the Pittsburgh Steelers in last years AFC wild card match-up to win the game in overtime but Dez Bryant’s X-Factor touchdown stance has the Dallas Cowboys fans not regretting the decision, to select Dez Bryant from Oklahoma State, one bit.