Despite his lack of production, Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden believes Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is still elite at what matters most.
One of the most polarizing players in Dallas Cowboys history is wide receiver Dez Bryant. Early on in his career, Bryant was criticized for his off the field issues that were being justified by his on field production. Now, in his eighth season, it’s completely reversed.
Bryant no longer has a bad reputation off the field, but instead gets called out for his lack of production on it. So far this season, Dez leads America’s Team with 58 targets. That’s a whopping 16 more passes his way than the next Cowboy on that list, tight end Jason Witten.
Yet, out of those 58 passes, Bryant has only been able to pull down 28 receptions for 327 yards and four touchdowns. And at times this season, the team has suffered in an attempt to force the ball Dez’s way to get him more involved.
But complaints about Bryant’s lack of production didn’t just start up this season. Since leading the league with 16 receiving touchdowns in 2014, the 28-year old receiver’s numbers have nosedived the past two seasons. And that’s mainly due to injuries. Bryant has missed 10 total games the past two years, and he wasn’t always 100% healthy when he did play.
This season was supposed to be different. Finally healthy with a full offseason training program under his belt, this was supposed to be the year Bryant retakes his throne as one of the league’s top receivers.
But according to the head coach of the team the Cowboys are about to face on Sunday, the Washington Redskins, Bryant is still elite when it comes to the NFL’s most important thing … scoring.
"“What matters is getting the ball in the endzone. That’s what Dez’s forte is,” Redskins head coach Jay Gruden told the Dallas Morning News. “He’s still as good and maybe one of the top redzone targets in the league. Scoring in the redzone is the most important part of pro football, third downs and scoring in the redzone.”"
In his eight seasons in the NFL, Dez Bryant has racked up 71 total touchdowns. That places him fifth among active players for a career and 39th all-time in NFL history. Amazingly, one more score and Bryant will break the Cowboys all-time receiving touchdown record held by Hall of Famer Bob Hayes. And no one can complain about that.