Dallas Cowboys

Why the Dallas Cowboys' Dez Bryant Will Be the NFL's Best Receiver in 2013

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 09:  Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates a victory during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on December 9, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The Cowboys defeated the Bengals 20-19.  (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
John Grieshop/Getty Images
Jeffrey KahnCorrespondent IIJuly 19, 2013

Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys will be the NFL's best receiver in 2013.

The young star was the first-round draft pick for Dallas in the 2010 NFL draft. Now entering his fourth NFL season, Bryant is poised to be the best wideout around.

Calvin Johnson? Andre Johnson? Brandon Marshall? Bryant will beat them all.

As a preface, let's examine Bryant's stats since entering the league.

SeasonGPRECTGTSYDSTD
20101245725616
201115631039289
201216921381,38212

 

As you can see, Bryant has increasingly outperformed each of his last seasons by at least 25 percent.

So why will he keep it up?

 

The No. 1 Receiver

Bryant is now the clear-cut No. 1 receiver in the Big D. Last year, Miles Austin started the season challenging Bryant for the position. But heading into this season, there is no question that Bryant is No. 1.

The importance of being a definite No. 1 receiver bodes well for Bryant's psyche. After Austin left last year's Thanksgiving Day game against the Redskins early with a hip strain, Bryant fully emerged as the No. 1 receiver. From that point on, Bryant went on a tear.

In those last six games, Bryant scored eight touchdowns with 35 receptions for 647 yards. That's a per-game average of 1.3 touchdowns and 107.8 yards.

Let's compare those to the NFL's league averages at the end of the 2012 season. James Jones would be second with 0.88 touchdowns per game, and Bryant would be second only to Calvin Johnson's record-breaking season of 122.75 yards per game.

Yet Bryant put up numbers for the entire season, arguably finishing as a top-five receiver in 2012. What will be the final "X-factor" that puts him atop of the best receivers in the NFL?

 

The Motivation

Bryant appears to be coming into the 2013 season more motivated than ever. His 2012 season was outstanding, as previously mentioned, but he knows that he is just getting started.

In a March 2013 telephone interview with ESPNDallas.com, Bryant said he believes he's only going to get better.

That's still scratching the surface. It's only going to get better, to be honest. I still have a lot to give. I feel like nobody's seen anything. Nothing. I feel like it can be a lot more than that. That's just being honest. I honestly feel like [2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns] can potentially happen.

Bryant knows the bar that Calvin Johnson set in the 2012 season for the most receiving yards in a season, at 1,964. His offseason has had no outside distractions, and it appears that he's more focused than ever.

According to a July article by Jean-Jacques Taylor of ESPNDallas.com, Bryant had the model offseason.

This was the offseason Dez Bryant needed after his phenomenal end to last season.

No embarrassing YouTube videos. No incidents with the police. No lawsuits. No baby mama drama.

Nothing. At all.

Perfect.

While Bryant has been on his best behavior, there have been some late nights this offseason where Bryant took to Twitter to share what's on his mind. On June 25, at 12:16 a.m., Bryant tweeted a highlight video of himself.

Bryant could be doing a plethora of things: sleeping, playing Xbox, maybe even doing some late-night reading? But on this late summer night, Bryant was looking at YouTube videos, seemingly getting excited for the upcoming season, months away.

And how about Bryant retweeting an @nfl tweet predicting him to be the best fantasy football receiver in 2013? Or Bryant's Instagram account? Fans have had weeks upon months of nonstop posts of game photos from Bryant's account. Clearly, this is a man who can't wait to get back on the field.

 

The Prediction

Bryant will continue to outperform his previous season. Not only does he already have all the intangibles, but his motivation and the depth chart setting as the No. 1 receiver will also help push his game over the top.

Predicting Dez Bryant's 2013 stats: 120 receptions, 1,700 yards, 15 touchdowns.

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