Every NFL season seems to have one player that makes his mark in spectacular fashion. Last year it was the mouth of the Northwest…Richard Sherman. The year before it was Robert Griffin III who carried his Heisman Trophy winning success over to a rookie season that led the Redskins to the NFC East crown. Who will be 2014’s breakout star? The Dallas Cowboys have a few possibilities….the most likely being wide receiver Dez Bryant. Although Bryant is without question the Cowboys numero uno receiver, the dominoes are in place for him to have a breakthrough year in 2014. Whether they fall as Cowboys Nation hopes might depend on a couple of issues that are out of Dez’s hands.
If Dez goes into 2014 without inking a new deal in Dallas he will be looking to make the Jones’ boys sorry they didn’t open their wallet sooner, while giving them plenty of reasons to show him ginormous money at season’s end. He would also likely be playing to garner the interest of some other teams who are in desperate need of a star wideout.
It is worth noting, though, that the chances are just about as good that my pet pug will hop up on the sofa, cross her paws, and start giving her opinion on the current situation in the Middle East, as it is that Mr. Jones will let his latest #88 out of Big D. The last year on his contract would provide a pivotal point in Bryant’s career to make his mark in a big way and come through in clutch situations like the original #88 did back in his days in Dallas. There is no doubt that Bryant has the talent to be remembered as one of the great receivers in Cowboys lore…he might just need the incentive of a contract season to get him over the hump.
Another key to Bryant’s breakout success will be how the receiver that Dallas puts on the opposite side of the field performs. Great receivers generally can attribute a large part of their success to the ability of their wingman to make believers out defenses. Drew Pearson had a formidable stable of receivers around him including Golden Richards, Butch Johnson and, most notably, Tony Hill. In the case of Michael Irvin there was Alvin Harper, who made enough plays in big game situations to make defenders take notice. That, in turn, opened up possibilities for the Playmaker to do his thing.
The obvious option to be the yin to Bryant’s yang is Terrance Williams, who is coming off a rookie season in which he had 44 receptions for 736 yards. Special teams standout Dwayne Harris, who caught the winning touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings in 2013, is a deserving candidate for the third receiver spot going into training camp.
Dez Bryant has the skills to become one of the best receivers the Cowboys have had on their roster. The biggest question mark, besides the aforementioned ones that he can’t control, is whether he can learn to channel all of his emotions into play on the field instead of sideline antics that always seem to find their way onto ESPN. If that happens and the dominoes start falling his way, the latest #88 could make a memorable 1914 for himself and Cowboys Nation.
Be there to witness Bryant’s potential breakout season in person and get your Dallas Cowboys tickets here.