Dez Bryant in Dallas Cowboys training camp 2010.
No. 88 Dallas Cowboys
|Date of birth:November 4, 1988|
|Place of birth: Galveston County, Texas|
|High school: Lufkin (TX)|
|College: Oklahoma State|
|NFL Draft: 2010 / Round: 1 / Pick: 24|
|Debuted in 2010 for the Dallas Cowboys|
|Roster status: Active|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2014
Desmond Demond "Dez" Bryant (born November 4, 1988) is an American football wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Oklahoma State University, and earned All-American honors. He was chosen by the Dallas Cowboys number 24 overall in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
Bryant was born in Galveston County, Texas, but eventually moved to Lufkin, Texas, where he attended Lufkin High School. As a junior, he caught 48 passes for 1,025 yards and 16 touchdowns. Bryant, along with defensive lineman Jamarkus McFarland, led Lufkin to a 14–1 record, including an appearance in the 5A Division II state semi-finals, where they lost 46–28 to Todd Dodge's Southlake Carroll. In his senior year, Bryant had 53 receptions for 1,207 yards with 21 touchdowns, and was an All-State selection. Lufkin finished the season 11–1, after losing 38–25 to Round Rock in the area round of the playoffs. After the season, Bryant participated in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl. He was also named an All-American by Parade and SuperPrep.
Bryant also competed in track & field, and was one of the state's top competitors in the triple jump (top-jump of 14.17 meters). Also a standout hurdler, he had personal-bests of 14.56 seconds in the 110m hurdles and 40.70 seconds in the 300m hurdles. He was also a member of the 4x100m (42.62) and 4x200m (1:28.35) relay squads.
Regarded as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, Bryant was listed as the No. 9 wide receiver prospect in the class of 2007, and the second from Texas behind only Terrence Toliver. Recruited by numerous major programs, including most Big 12 schools, Bryant took official visits to Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech, before committing to the Cowboys. He was just the 4th Parade All-American to sign with OSU since 1985.
Bryant attended Oklahoma State University from 2007 to 2009 and was a member of the Oklahoma State Cowboys football team coached by Mike Gundy. As a freshman in 2007, he finished second on the team with 43 receptions for 622 yards and 6 touchdowns in 12 games. In a game against the University of Kansas Jayhawks, he set an OSU record for receiving yards in a game by a freshman with 155. In the 2007 Insight Bowl, he recorded 9 receptions for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 49–33 win against the Indiana Hoosiers.
Bryant finished the 2008 season for Oklahoma State with 87 receptions for 1,480 yards and 19 touchdowns, including 2 punt returns for touchdowns. Bryant was ruled ineligible for the rest of the 2009 season on October 7 for violating an NCAA bylaw. He failed to fully disclose his interaction with Deion Sanders, a former NFL player, to the NCAA. He was considered the best receiver in 2009 and a possible Heisman contender before the suspension.
College awards and honors
- 2007 Second-team freshman All-America
- 2008 First team All-America by AFCA-Coaches, Associated Press, Walter Camp, Sporting News, Pro Football Weekly, Sports Illustrated
|NCAA Career Totals||147||2,425||16.5||29||22||431||19.6||3||6||143||23.8||0|
2010 NFL Draft
On November 5, 2009, Bryant announced his intentions to enter the 2010 NFL Draft. He was widely believed to be the best wide receiver available and to be targeted by the Denver Broncos (11th pick overall), who traded their Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall to the Miami Dolphins prior to the draft. If he slipped by the Broncos, Bryant was projected to fall no lower than No. 27 to the Dallas Cowboys. After dropping because of character concerns, the Cowboys traded up with the New England Patriots moving from the 27th to the 24th position to select Bryant. For the move the team sent a third (No. 90) round draft choice, while receiving the Patriots fourth (No. 119) round draft choice.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert||Broad||BP||Wonderlic|
|6 ft 2 in||224 lb||34 in||9 3⁄4 in||4.52 s||1.11 s||2.51 s||4.46 s||7.10 s||38 in||11 ft 1 in||14 reps||16|
|All values from OSU Pro Day|
Bryant was signed by the Cowboys to a contract very similar to that of Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin (five years, $12.05 million, roughly $8.4 million guaranteed) on July 22, 2010. On July 23, 2010, it was announced that Bryant will wear number 88, the same as Hall of Famer Michael Irvin, and Cowboys legend Drew Pearson. On October 17, 2010, Bryant caught his first NFL touchdown catch, on a 31-yard pass from Tony Romo. The Cowboys ended up losing that game 24–21.
In a Monday Night Football game vs. the New York Giants, at Cowboys stadium on October 25, 2010, Bryant caught four passes for 54 yards, two of them for TDs, and also returned a punt 93 yards for a touchdown, making the longest Cowboys' punt return since Dennis Morgan's 98-yard return during the 1974 NFL season. On November 15, 2010, Bryant caught 3 passes for 104 yards and 1 touchdown, to become the first Cowboys rookie with a 100+ yard game since Antonio Bryant.
During the fourth quarter of the Cowboys' 38–35 victory over the Colts, Bryant went down with a fractured ankle. Indianapolis' Kavell Conner held onto Bryant's leg while tackling him on a kickoff return, and the Cowboys immediately took Bryant to the locker room. He was placed on the injured reserve list and had surgery on the fractured ankle. He left the game with one catch for 14 yards and a 35.7-yard average on three kickoff returns.
Bryant finished his rookie season with 45 receptions for 561 yards and 6 receiving touchdowns.
Bryant missed the second game of the 2011 season against the San Francisco 49ers due to injury as the Cowboys won their game in overtime.
Bryant started his second game of the season against the division rivals and previously undefeated Washington Redskins on a Monday Night Football game. Playing injured, Bryant managed 4 receptions for 63 yards in that game helping his team to a win.
In the fourth game of the season against the, at the time, undefeated Detroit Lions, Bryant had 3 receptions for 37 yards, 1 rush for 5 yards and 2 receiving touchdowns in his team's loss. His 2 touchdown game marked just the second time in his career with multiple touchdowns in one game.
Against the New England Patriots Bryant had 4 receptions for 78 yards in a heartbreaking loss on the road.
In Week 7 of the 2011 regular season, the Dallas Cowboys went up against the St. Louis Rams at Cowboys Stadium. In the contest, Bryant had the most productive game of his season this far, hauling in 5 receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown, helping his team to a win. His 5 receptions that game ranked 4th most receptions in a game for his career and his 90 yards were his second most yards in a game of his career. His yardage output of the game also ranked as the most yards in a single game for his 2011 season. Bryant was not officially given the start for the game. Bryant's best game of the season was overshadowed by rookie teammate Demarco Murray's record-breaking day.
The 7th game of the season pinned the 3–3 Dallas Cowboys against the 2–4 Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Field. Bryant had just 3 receptions for 28 yards in a 34–7 loss. The 28 yards gained by Bryant was his lowest total yards in a game for the 2011 season through seven games.
The following week, against the Seattle Seahawks, Bryant recorded 4 receptions for 76 yards on 9 targets. Bryant also fumbled and lost the fumble, both for the first time in his career as he was tackled near the opponent's 1-yard line. The Cowboys got the win against the Seahawks 23–13. At the midway point of the season, Bryant had 26 receptions for 443 yards and 4 touchdowns on 6 starts. Similarly, in 2010 at the midway point of the season, Bryant had 38 receptions for 435 and 3 touchdowns on 2 starts.
Bryant finished the season with 63 receptions for 928 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Dez had a good start in the 2012 Season, bringing in 85 yards on only 4 catches (21.3 YPC/Yards Per Catch average) in a 24-17 win against division rivals, the New York Giants.
The next two weeks were shaky at best, as he hauled in only 79 receiving yards on 9 receptions and no touchdowns. Dallas would lose the game in week 2 versus the Seattle Seahawks, and would go on to win in week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In the week 4 34-18 loss to the Chicago Bears, Dez would have a much better outing than the previous 3 games, as he caught for 105 yards on 8 receptions and no touchdowns. This would mark the 4 straight game of the season without a touchdown, and 0 touchdowns on 21 catches for the third year wideout.
After the week 5 bye, Bryant would catch his first and second touchdowns of the season, while also setting his career high of 13 receptions in a crushing week 6 loss to the eventual Super Bowl champions, the Baltimore Ravens. With 32 seconds remaining in the game, Dez caught a touchdown pass from Quarterback Tony Romo to bring the score to 31-29. Following a failed two-point conversion, Dallas would recover a crucial onside-kick to give the offense one last opportunity to win the game. After horrible clock management by the Dallas coaching staff, kicker Dan Bailey would attempt a 51-yard field goal, but would sail wide left to end the game 31-29.
Dez only had 2 catches for 14 yards in the week 7 win against the Carolina Panthers.
Throughout September and October, he was being criticized for dropping balls, fumbles or running poor routes, but he started to live up to his potential in a week 8 game against the New York Giants. Dez accumulated 110 yards on only 5 catches (22.0 YPC average), and almost came up with a last minute hail mary touchdown (it was reversed because his hand was ruled out of bounds).
Bryant only had one catch for 15 yards against the Atlanta Falcons on the November 14, 19-13 week 9 loss in the Georgia Dome. Although his one catch performance was far from the start of a breakout season, he bounced back in the week 10 win against division rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles to amass 87 yards on only 3 catches and one touchdown. This brings his weeks 9 and 10 performance to 102 yards on 4 receptions (25.5 YPC average) and one touchdown. That week 10 performance was the start of a break out season, that was worthy of Pro Bowl consideration.
In week 11 against the Cleveland Browns, Bryant had 12 catches for a then career-high 145 yards, breaking his previous personal best of 110 yards during week 8 against the New York Giants. His 12 receptions fell short of his career-high 13 catches during week 6 against the Baltimore Ravens.
Despite a week 12 loss against the Washington Redskins, Bryant matched his yardage total from the previous week while adding 2 touchdowns.
In weeks 13, 14 and 15 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers, Bryant compiled a total of 207 receiving yards on 14 receptions (14.8 YPC average), and 4 touchdown receptions. This brought his 6-week scoring total to 8 touchdowns, which helped the team win 5 out of their last 6 games.
Against the New Orleans Saints in a week 16 loss, he had the best game of his career up to that point, with nine receptions for a career-high 224 yards (fourth most in team history), two touchdowns and also tying the franchise record for most consecutive games (7) with at least a touchdown reception, which is shared with Franklin Clarke (1961–1962), Bob Hayes (1965–1966) and Terrell Owens (2007).
In the last game of the season, Bryant caught 4 balls thrown his way for 71 yards in the week 17 loss to rival and eventual division champions, the Washington Redskins. Since week 10 and the midway point of the 2012 season, Bryant accumulated 879 yards and 10 touchdowns on 50 receptions (17.6 YPC average and 5:1 touchdown ratio).
Bryant finished the 2012 season with 92 receptions for 1,382 yards (15 YPC average) and 12 touchdowns; these ranked 10th, 6th and 3rd respectively among all receivers.
He suffered from several injuries throughout the second half of the season. He injured his finger in early December, opting to play through the injury for the duration of the season, saying that opponents would "have to break my leg to keep me out." He left in the fourth quarter of the final game of the season against the Washington Redskins with a back injury. Head Coach Jason Garrett stated after the game that Dez "could barely walk," with the injury.
Dez Bryant's 2013 season started slow with just 4 receptions for 22 receiving yards in a week 1 victory over the New York Giants.
Bryant rebounded with 9 receptions for 141 receiving yards and a touchdown in a Week 2 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Though Dez had such an impact in the 17–16 loss to the Chiefs, he dropped a deep pass from Tony Romo that surely would have been a game changing touchdown.
In a Week 5 51–48 shootout with the Denver Broncos, Bryant had 6 receptions for 141 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Tony Romo would break the Dallas Cowboys single game passing yards record with 506 yards, and throw for 5 touchdowns and one interception, as opposing quarterback Peyton Manning would throw for 414 yards and 4 touchdowns and one interception, giving Manning the first of his sensational season. Although both captains had a turnover each in this game, Romo would be highly criticized for the timing of his, as it happened at his own 24 yard line as he tripped over Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith's foot with 2 minutes remaining in the game, and the score tied 48-48. Denver's sure-legged kicker, Matt Prater, would go on to kick game winning field goal as time expired. The total of 99 points between the two teams are tied for second most all-time since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.
In a week 7 blowout win against Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles, Bryant had 110 yards on 8 catches with no touchdowns.
After a heartbreaking 31–30 loss to the Detroit Lions in week 8, Bryant would finish with 3 catches for 72 yards and two touchdowns, his 3rd multi-touchdown game of the season. Prior to the game, Dez said in an interview about Lions' receiver Calvin Johnson, "I believe I can do whatever he can do. I think it's just a pride thing. When it comes to football, just being on the field, it's a mindset and having a mentality. I honestly believe when I'm there, I'll be feeling like there's nothing I can't do. Whatever the coaches ask me to do, I'm going to do it." Many people around the league took this out of context as Dez was saying he was "better" than "Megatron" is. He then replied with this statement: “I think a lot of people took it the wrong way,” Bryant said. “I don’t compare myself with anybody. I think when you get to comparing yourself with others, that’s when you start to have a downfall. “What I was saying was, I can make catches and all of that. Things he can do, I can do. I wasn’t saying it as it was just me who was able to do it. I’m pretty sure the next guy would say the same exact thing.” Johnson would go on to have a career day, breaking the single game receiving yards record with 329 yards on 14 catches and one touchdown.
Over the next 5 games against the Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, and Chicago Bears, Dez compiled a total of 267 yards on 25 catches and only two touchdowns; averaging a mere 5 catches with 53.4 yards and 0.4 touchdowns per game.
In yet another heartbreaking week 15 loss to the Green Bay Packers without Aaron Rodgers, Dez finished with a season high 11 catches for 153 yards with one touchdown. Dallas would go on to lose the game by one point, 37–36, making it the third time this was done in the 2013 Season. TV cameras showed Bryant leaving the field with over a minute left in the game.
Dez finished the season with 93 catches and 13 touchdowns; both career highs, and 1,233 yards. These ranked 8th in catches, 13th in yards, and 3rd in touchdowns respectively among all receivers. Bryant would go on to his first Pro Bowl in 4 seasons.
Entering the final year of his contract, Dez Bryant managed to improve and had the most productive year of his career. He caught 88 passes for 1320 yards and 16 touchdowns, the latter of which led the NFL and broke Terrell Owens franchise record of 15 TD scores. As a result, he was selected for his 2nd consecutive Pro-Bowl appearance and was chosen as 1st team All-Pro.
Bryant once again started the season slowly, catching only 5 passes for just 55 yards while the Cowboys were blown out at home by the San Francisco 49ers 28-17. However over the next 6 weeks Dallas' offense, and Bryant, would catch fire. Dallas won 6 straight games and Dez Bryant was dominant over the stretch, catching 41 passes for 535 yards and 4 touchdowns.
During week 8 against the Dallas Cowboys longtime rival the Washington Redskins, Tony Romo would be insured and forced to miss a good portion of the game (he would later return to finish the game) as a result the Cowboys offense with Brandon Weeden under center would struggle and Dez Bryants production would decrease as a direct result. Romo missed the following week with a transverse process and Dez Bryant would have virtually no impact as the Cowboys were blown out by the Arizona Cardinals 28-17. He had only 5 catches for 45 yards and 2 TDs during this stretch.
Tony Romo would return the following week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Dez Bryant once again became extremely productive as a result. He caught 6 passes for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns in the 2nd quarter alone, making this the most productive quarter of his career.
With Romo under center for the remaining 6 games, Bryant and Dallas would begin to dominate as he compiled 32 catches for 527 yards and 8 touchdowns. During this stretch, Dallas would go 5-1 and finish with a record of 12-4 which tied for most wins in the NFL during the 2014 season. The Cowboys would make the playoffs for the first time since 2009 and Dez Bryant would play in his first playoff game against the Detroit Lions. In a hard fought defensive struggle, Bryant would see double-coverage for most of the night and was largely unproductive. However after some 2nd half adjustments by the Cowboys, Dallas offense would take advantage of the added attention to Bryant and begin to move the ball frequently through the air targeting Bryant's counterparts in the receiving corps and the Cowboys would win 24-20 after being down 20-7 late in the 3rd quarter. The game was not without controversy, as the Detroit Lions were ahead on the scoreboards 20-17 facing a 3rd-and-1, quarterback Matthew Stafford threw a pass to TE Brandon Pettigrew who was seemingly interfered with by Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens and the referees threw a flag and announced a pass interference. The Cowboys side-line erupted, and Dez Bryant ran 15 yards onto the field without his helmet to contest the call with the referees. After about 1 minute, the refs gathered their flags and declared there was no foul on the play which resulted in a 4th-and-1. After an attempt to draw Dallas offside, Detroit would punt the ball back to the Cowboys and Dallas would drive 59 yards and score the game-winning touchdown.
In the divisional round, the Cowboys lost to the Green Bay Packers 26-21. The game is noted for a controversial call that reversed a complete 31-yard pass to Bryant on 4th & 2 from the Packers 32. Although Bryant, covered by Sam Shields, caught the ball with both feet coming down in bounds, Bryant bobbled the ball as he stretched towards the 1-yard line. Referees initially ruled Bryant down at the 1-yard line but overturned this call as an incomplete pass following a challenge from Packers coach Mike McCarthy. Referee Gene Steratore explained the decision: "Although the receiver is possessing the football, he must maintain possession of that football throughout the entire process of the catch. In our judgement he maintained possession but continued to fall and never had another act common to the game. We deemed that by our judgement to be the full process of the catch, and at the time he lands and the ball hits the ground, it comes loose as it hits the ground, which would make that incomplete; although he re-possesses it, it does contact the ground when he reaches so the repossession is irrelevant because it was ruled an incomplete pass when we had the ball hit the ground." Bryant said after the game that he wanted to know why his catch was overturned.
|NFL Career Totals||75||61||381||5,424||85||14.2||56|
Bryant had a troubled upbringing, born to a fourteen year old mother who was arrested for dealing crack cocaine when he was age eight. He went on to live in eight different homes while at Lufkin High School. Bryant has two sons, Zayne, 7, and Dez Jr. 4.
Bryant was sued in March 2011 for $861,350 for legal fees and the cost of jewelry, which he acquired on credit while a student athlete. The case was settled before court proceedings for between $400,000 and $500,000 US.,
On July 16, 2012, Bryant was arrested on a class A misdemeanor domestic violence charge for allegedly striking his biological mother, Angela Bryant. In March 2013 Bryant spoke at an event for Dallas Men Against Abuse. At the event, he stated, "I’m done with domestic abuse.”
On April 4, 2013 Bryant signed his second major endorsement deal with the Jordan Brand. He made the announcement via his Twitter account.
On August 28, 2014, Dez launched his official brand and apparel line, ThrowUpTheX, his signature end zone celebration, which encourages fans to "Throw Up The X" on and off the field.
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