ARLINGTON (105.3 THE FAN) — Dez Bryant may be the most interesting case in all of professional football.
He’s got potential through the roof, and we’ve all seen glimpses of the type player he can be if he is able to achieve some level of consistency. For most NFL teams, the more they get their best players involved in the gameplan, the more success that the team has. However, for some reason, as good as Dez Bryant is, his level of involvement in the gameplan has, historically, had very little effect on the outcome of Cowboys games during his 4 year tenure.
First of all, would it surprise you to know that Dez has just seven 100+ yard games in his 47 games as a Dallas Cowboy? Ya, it surprised me too, but it hasn’t always translated into a positive for the Cowboys as a team…they’re 2-5 in games that Bryant eclipses the 100-yard mark.
Now I’m not saying that Dez shouldn’t be more involved in the offense. And I’m not saying that we shouldn’t want him to provide 100-yard games. But what I am saying is that his track record of involvement has often had very little to do with the outcome of the game. In fact, his numbers are nearly identical in wins as they are in loses.
- In the 21 wins in Dez’s career, he’s averaged 4 catches and 61 yards per game, with 13 TDs (TD in 62% of games played).
- In the 26 loses, he’s averaged 5 catches for 72 yards per game, with 18 TDs (TD in 69% of games).
As you can see, in just about every way, his numbers are actually better in games the team has lost. His involvement corresponds with that sentiment.
7-18. That’s the record in games that Dez Bryant was targeted more than 7 times. JUST SEVEN TIMES! (6.2 targets per game in wins vs. 8.4 targets per game in loses).
Once again, it appears that simply ‘getting the ball to Dez’ isn’t enough.
Now, I’m no NFL coach or scout. Don’t pretend to be. But what I have seen in the NFL is teams using a variety of ways to get their best players the ball, without necessarily feeling like it’s being force fed in one particular style. Wouldn’t it make sense to start trying to find new ways to get Dez the ball by moving him around pre-snap?
Move him inside slotted next to Jason Witten and see how the defense reacts. Move him from the overloaded side to the weak side and take a chance that a communication error on defense leads to a major breakdown. It may not mean a wide open Dez, but if 5 defensive backs all have to turn their heads to see where Dez is going, that could be the split second Tony Romo needs to exploit a miscue in the defense.
How about seeing them run a Dez screen pass? Or a Dez reverse? Or line Dez up out of the slot? It seems you see very little from Dez outside of posts, slants, outs, or fades.
Perhaps it’s not the rate at which Dez gets the ball, but HOW he gets it that is the key to getting this offense rolling again.
Catch Roy White every weekday, 5:30-10am on 105.3 The Fan’s New School with Shan & RJ.
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