Dez Bryant, Wide Receiver
For the second straight game, Superman wide receiver Dez Bryant has looked more like a powerless Clark Kent. And the fear is this trend may only continue. Bryant’s presence on the field is valuable, not only as a 50-50 receiver and red zone target, but because he often draws double teams. That allows other receivers like Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams and tight end Jason Witten to get open.
But now teams are going one-on-one against Bryant. It’s something the Cowboys used to exploit as Dez would eat up that kind of coverage in the past. But Bryant is simply unable to gain enough separation from defenders to be able to make those jaw-dropping plays on the ball.
Instead, Bryant’s presence on the field is starting to become a liability, as quarterback Dak Prescott and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan are having to force the ball his way in order to get him more involved. And Bryant’s inability to gain separation combined with poor route running has negated the game-breaking threat he used to be.
Bryant caught just seven of his 15 targets against the Broncos on Sunday. Dez has been targeted a whopping 24 times in the first games, catching just nine of them.
Following a wonderful training camp performance, this is a disappointing start for Dez Bryant. And it figures to get worse before it gets better with the Arizona Cardinals’ cornerback Patrick Peterson on tap for Week Three. But Bryant is only 28-years old, and the league’s most passionate player. I doubt Dez’s pride will allow him to play this poorly for very much longer.