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Cowboys, Lions Do Their Best To Quell Dez-Megatron Talk
IRVING, Texas – Comparison was bound to be a talking point during a week when Dez Bryant and Calvin Johnson will share the same field.
That conversation was bound to get louder after Bryant said Monday on 103.3 ESPN in Dallas that he could do whatever Johnson can.
"I believe I can do whatever he can do," Bryant said in the radio interview. "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.”
Johnson holds the NFL record for receiving yards in a season with 1,964, and he currently has 492 yards and six touchdowns in six games. Bryant’s 1,382-yard 2012 season moved him onto the short list of best young receivers in the league, and his 569 yards and six scores through seven games have done nothing to dispel that notion.
But Bryant said Wednesday he wasn’t intending to compare himself to “Megatron.”
“I think people took it the wrong way. Clearly I said there is no comparison – I don’t compare myself with anybody,” he said. “It’s really respect to him – he makes receivers like us go out there and try to be our best.”
On top of his yardage record, it’s worth mentioning that Johnson has stockpiled 4,765 yards and 33 touchdowns in the last three years. Johnson’s fellow wide receiver in Detroit, Nate Burleson, told reporters that Bryant was not on that level – “no way, no how.”
But asked about his own prowess, he said it wasn’t for him to determine league pecking order.
“That’s for y’all to decide. I just go out here and do the same thing every day – find something to work on that will get me better,” he said.
That was about as much as most were willing to discuss the topic. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and Lions coach Jim Schwartz were asked about it, Schwartz spoke to Bryant’s development since Detroit’s 2011 loss to Dallas during Bryant’s second season.
“He’s playing like a veteran player now. He’s taken the load of the No. 1 receiver. That’s a big burden to be the No. 1 receiver. You’re going to see attention every week. You’re going to see double teams,” Schwartz said. “You’re going to see corners rolled to your side and it’s a big mental adjustment to go through that, and I think that Dez Bryant has done that.”
The conversation ended at the possibility of comparison, though. Garrett has long declined to compare players, while Schwartz said each receiver’s talents should be enough.
“He’s one of the best receivers in the NFL, as is Calvin, and I think that’s about the only comparison that you need to make between those two guys,” he said.
Of course, no one said covering either receiver is going to be easy. Sunday will be Orlando Scandrick’s second tangle with Johnson. The veteran corner said he understands why Johnson has earned the attention he has in recent seasons.
“When you get out there with him, you’re like -- you know why they call him Megatron. He looks like a damn machine,” Scandrick said. “He doesn’t even look human. He’s way faster than you think he is on film. He’s way bigger than you think he is on film. You’ve just got to come out, and it’s going to take a collective effort to stop a great receiver.”