Dez Bryant in Dallas Cowboys training camp 2010.
|No. 88 Dallas Cowboys|
|Date of birth:||November 4, 1988|
|Place of birth:||Galveston County, Texas|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||224 lb (102 kg)|
|High school:||Lufkin (TX)|
|NFL draft:||2010 / Round: 1 / Pick: 24|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 9, 2015|
|Stats at NFL.com|
Desmond "Dez" Demond Bryant Sr, (born November 4, 1988) is an American football wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Oklahoma State, where he earned All-American honors, and was drafted by the Cowboys 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 semifinals, 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 and field, and was one of the state's top competitors in the triple jump (top-jump of 14.17 m). Also a standout hurdler, he had personal bests of 14.56 seconds in the 110-m hurdles and 40.70 seconds in the 300-m hurdles. He was also a member of the 4 × 100-m (42.62) and 4 × 200-m (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 fourth 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 six 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 two 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 two 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-round draft choice (no. 90), while receiving the Patriots' fourth-round draft choice (no. 119).
|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||225 lb||34 in||9 3⁄4 in||4.52 s||1.53 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 would 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 three passes for 104 yards and one 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 six receiving touchdowns.
Bryant missed the second game of the 2011 season against the San Francisco 49ers due to injury, as the Cowboys won the 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 four 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 three receptions for 37 yards, one rush for five yards, and two receiving touchdowns in his team's loss. His two-touchdown game marked just the second time in his career with multiple touchdowns in one game.
Against the New England Patriots, Bryant had four 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 thus far, hauling in five receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown, helping his team to a win. His receptions that game ranked fourth-most receptions in a game and his 90 yards were his second-most yards in a game for 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 seventh game of the season pinned the 3–3 Dallas Cowboys against the 2–4 Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Field. Bryant had just three 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 four 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 four touchdowns on six starts. Similarly, in 2010 at the midway point of the season, Bryant had 38 receptions for 435 and three touchdowns on two 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 four catches (21.3 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 lost the game in week 2 versus the Seattle Seahawks, and went on to win in week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In the week 4, 34-18 loss to the Chicago Bears, Dez had a much better outing than the previous three games, as he caught for 105 yards on eight receptions, with no touchdowns. This marked the fourth straight game of the season without a touchdown, and no touchdowns on 21 catches for the third-year wideout.
After the week 5 bye, Bryant caught his first and second touchdowns of the season, while also setting his career-high 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 recovered 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 attempted a 51-yard field goal, but it sailed wide left to end the game 31-29.
Dez only had two catches for 14 yards in the week-7 win against the Carolina Panthers.
Throughout September and October, he was criticized for dropping balls, fumbles, and running poor routes, but he started to live up to his potential in a week-8 game against the Giants. Dez accumulated 110 yards on only five catches, 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 Eagles, to amass 87 yards on only three catches, with one touchdown. This brought his week-9 and -10 performances to 102 yards on four receptions and one touchdown. That week-10 performance was the start of a breakout season, 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 Giants. His 12 receptions fell short of his career-high 13 catches during week 6 against the Ravens.
Despite a week-12 loss against the Redskins, Bryant matched his yardage total from the previous week while adding two touchdowns.
In weeks 13, 14, and 15 against the Eagles, Cincinnati Bengals, and Pittsburgh Steelers, Bryant compiled a total of 207 receiving yards on 14 receptions, and four touchdown receptions. This brought his six-week scoring total to eight touchdowns, which helped the team win five of their last six games.
Against the New Orleans Saints in a week-16 loss, he had the best game of his career to that point, with nine receptions for a career-high 224 yards (fourth-most in team history), two touchdowns, and tying the franchise record for most consecutive games (seven) 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 four balls thrown his way for 71 yards in the week-17 loss to rival and eventual division champions, the Redskins. Since week 10 and the midway point of the 2012 season, Bryant accumulated 879 yards and 10 touchdowns on 50 receptions (17.6 yards/catch average).
Bryant finished the 2012 season with 92 receptions for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns; these ranked 10th, sixth, and third, 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 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 four 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 six receptions for 141 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Tony Romo broke the Cowboys' single-game passing yards record with 506 yards, and threw for five touchdowns and one interception, as opposing quarterback Peyton Manning threw for 414 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception, giving Manning the first of his sensational season. Although both captains had a turnover each in this game, Romo was 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, went on to kick the game-winning field goal as time expired. The total of 99 points between the two teams is tied for second-most all-time since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.
Dez could not get things going in the next week, finishing with five catches for 36 yards in a week-6 victory over NFC East rivals, the Redskins.
In a week-7 blowout win against Nick Foles and the Eagles, Bryant had 110 yards on eight catches with no touchdowns.
After a heartbreaking 31–30 loss to the Lions in week 8, Bryant finished with three catches for 72 yards and two touchdowns, his third multiple-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". 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 went 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 five 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 five catches for 53.4 yards 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 went on to lose the game 37–36, making it the third time in the 2013 season. TV cameras showed Bryant leaving the field with over a minute left in the game.
Bryant finished the final two games of the season with 12 catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns against division rivals Washington and Philadelphia.
Dez finished the season with 93 catches and 13 touchdowns, both career highs, and 1,233 yards. These ranked eighth in catches, 13th in yards, and third in touchdowns, respectively, among all receivers. Bryant went to his first Pro Bowl in four 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 second consecutive Pro-Bowl appearance and was chosen as first-team All-Pro.
Bryant once again started the season slowly, catching only five passes for just 55 yards while the Cowboys were beaten at home by the San Francisco 49ers 28-17. However, over the next six weeks, Dallas' offense would catch fire. Dallas won six straight games and Dez was dominant over the stretch, catching 41 passes for 535 yards and four touchdowns.
During week 8 against the Cowboys' longtime rival, the Redskins, Tony Romo was injured and forced to miss a good portion of the game (he later returned to finish the game). As a result, the Cowboys' offense, with Brandon Weeden under center, struggled and Bryant's production decreased as a direct result. Romo missed the following week with an injured transverse process, and Dez Bryant had virtually no impact as the Cowboys were beaten by the Arizona Cardinals 28-17. He had five catches for 45 yards and two TDs during this stretch.
Tony Romo returned the following week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Dez returned to his productive ways. He caught six passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns in the second quarter alone, making this the most productive quarter of his career.
With Romo under center for the remaining six games, Bryant and Dallas began to dominate as he compiled 32 catches for 527 yards and eight touchdowns. During this stretch, Dallas was 5-1 and finished with a record of 12-4, which tied for most wins in the NFL during the 2014 season.
The Cowboys made the playoffs for the first time since 2009 and Dez Bryant played in his first playoff game, against the Detroit Lions. In a hard-fought defensive struggle, Bryant saw double coverage for most of the night and was largely unproductive. However, after some second-half adjustments by the Cowboys, the Dallas offense took advantage of the added attention to Bryant and began to move the ball frequently through the air, targeting Bryant's counterparts in the receiving corps and the Cowboys won 24-20 after being down 20-7 late in the third quarter. The game was not without controversy, as the Lions were ahead on the scoreboard, 20-17, facing a third-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 sideline erupted, and Dez Bryant ran 15 yards onto the field without his helmet to contest the call with the referees. After about a minute, the referees gathered their flags and declared no foul on the play, which resulted in a fourth-and-1. After an attempt to draw Dallas offsides, Detroit punted the ball back to the Cowboys and Dallas drove 59 yards and scored 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 fourth-and-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 repossesses 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 believed it was a catch without a doubt, and wanted to know why his catch was overturned.
On March 3, 2015, the Cowboys placed the nonexclusive franchise tag, worth $12.823 million, on Bryant. On July 15, 2015, Bryant and the Cowboys reached an agreement on a five year, $70 million contract that includes $45 million of guaranteed money and a $20 million signing bonus.
During Sunday Night Football against the Giants on September 13, 2015, Bryant left the game with a foot injury. An X-ray revealed a fracture in the foot that required surgery. Recovery time required 4–6 weeks. He returned in Week 8 against the Seattle Seahawks and struggled, getting 2 receptions for 12 yards in a 13-12 loss to the Seahawks in AT&T Stadium. Week 9 vs the Philadelphia Eagles, Dez Bryant caught his first touchdown of the season with 5 catches for 104 yards.
|NFL Career Totals||75||61||381||5,424||85||14.2||56|
Bryant had a troubled upbringing, born to a 15-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, seven, and Dez, Jr., four.
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.
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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