Let me preface this by saying I think Dez Bryant is ready to explode into an NFL superstar, if he's not there already.
I also think he's going to be a better football player than he was in 2012.
So why am I predicting he will fall short of 1,500 receiving yards this year? Well, for starters, I don't think it's necessarily good for the team if he goes off like that. And also, this offense isn't exactly structured for him to do that.
Is Bryant capable of a 1,500-yard season? For sure – he was almost there last year with 1,382 yards and he did most of his damage in the second half of the season. Dez even talked about the possibility of 2,000 yards and I think he's got the ability to flirt with those types of numbers as well.
But there are three big reasons why I don't think Bryant will even get to 1,500 yards in 2013.
The first one is injury. To have a year like that, you pretty much have to be injury-free. That's not something we've seen a lot of from Dez. Now, last year he was able to play in all 16 games, but they definitely missed him in the season finale against the Redskins when he left with a back injury. He admirably played through a fractured finger and avoided surgery despite the risk of long-term effects.
See, that mindset right there is why it'll be hard for him to sustain that type of performance for an entire season. He's a tough guy with a tough mentality. Sometimes it can get you in trouble.
The other two reasons why I don't think Dez can get that many yards?
Jason Witten and Miles Austin.
This offense is built to be a "pick-your-poison" scheme. The idea is to burn the defense on this side until they figure it out and then start exploiting another area.
And truth be told, the Cowboys were able to do that rather well last year. In fact, had Austin not gotten hurt in the last Redskins game, he probably would've picked up the 57 yards he needed to reach 1,000 for the season. In doing so, Austin would've been the third player to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards for the Cowboys, making them the seventh team in NFL history to accomplish that feat. [embedded_ad]
Three 1,000-yard receivers show the Cowboys' ability to spread it around.
I'm not saying Dez can't get up there with 1,500 yards. But when you factor in wanting to use two tight ends now with Gavin Escobar, and then remember how Terrance Williams will be involved as well, I just don't see it all adding up to 1,500 yards for Dez.
Again, he has the talent to get that many yards and maybe a lot more. But I see the ball being spread around, which would prevent him from getting there. And in doing so, that could be better for the offense and the team overall.