When Dez Bryant came into the National Football League as the 1st round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in 2010, we all expected him to make headlines. He's fulfilled those expectation many times over, but unfortunately they haven't all been in the "good news" category. Whether it was a jewelry store suing him over unpaid bills or his mother filing charges for domestic abuse, Bryant's seen his share of troubles. But in 2013, things have quieted down immensely on the Dez Bryant front, and that's great news for both #88 and the Dallas fan base.
Dez Bryant: The Quiet Leader…Has a nice ring to it, right?
"I found myself," said Dez when asked about his early career troubles, "I'm comfortable with my life. I'm enjoying being in the NFL. I wish it could've been a couple years back, but I had to go through a couple of things to figure it out. I think I got it and I'm just more focused on my job and doing what I love to do and that's playing football."
As much as he loves playing, us fans have enjoyed watching him mature into one of the premier players in the game even more. Bryant leaped into All-Pro contention with a break out 2012 campaign, carrying the Cowboys offense even after suffering a potentially-season-ending broken finger. We always knew Bryant had the talent to succeed on game day, but it's his off-the-field maturity that has allowed him to fully unlock his abilities.
"I'm all in. I'm focused on other things, that's just being right and helping out the younger guys."
Hearing Dez say that has got to force a smile on to any Dallas Cowboys fan's face. And it has to bring a look of dismay on to the faces of the 23 other franchises that passed on Dez in the 2010 NFL Draft due to "character issues". Who would've thought we'd be talking about Dez Bryant the mentor a mere 10 months removed from a Class A Misdemeanor charge? And imagine how great it is for guys like Dwayne Harris and Terrance Williams to learn from a focused and fully immersed superstar like Bryant.
When Dallas assigned Bryant #88, we kinda-sorta had to know that he'd have a few hiccups along the way. We all just prayed that we'd see more touchdown dances than mink coats. Michael Irvin's best season came in 1995, when he caught 111 balls for 1603 yards and 10 touchdowns on the way to leading his team to a 3rd Super Bowl Championship in 4 seasons. Dez has the potential to top every single one of those stats, and do so by a considerable margin. We always hear how the offseason is when players truly set themselves up for huge seasons. If this offseason is any indication, Dez Bryant may be in for a monster 2013. And maybe he can bring his team along with him for the ride.
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