Can Dez Bryant Hope to Top Megatron in TD, Yards This Year?

Wide receivers are never lacking in confidence and making bold proclamations for their seasons. One to do so already for the 2013 season is the Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant who is looking to improve from his 2012 numbers; this included 92 receptions for 1,382 yards with 12 touchdowns.

The punky 25-year-old said back in March that he has his eye on a 2000-yard season for 2013, commenting to ESPN, “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.”

For Bryant, he led the league last season with his 10 touchdowns in the last eight games. Factor in his 50 catches for 879 yards during that stretch and this fell just behind the talented Johnsons: the Detroit Lions Calvin, with his single-season record of 1,964 yards (five touchdowns) and Houston Texans Andre’s 1,598 yards (four touchdowns).

Keep in mind that Bryant played the season’s last three games with a broken finger that needed surgery in the offseason. You can’t help but wonder if he could have pulled in greater numbers had he been 100 percent.

As Bryant leaves his legal problems behind, the player has said he’s on the path toward maturity at age 25, but can he surpass Megatron in 2013 for touchdowns and yards?

A few career stats are on his side with increasing numbers in his first three seasons: reception totals (45, 63, 92), yardage totals (561, 928, 1,382) and touchdown totals (six, nine, 12). The numbers suggest they’ll only rise in this fourth year.

What’s interesting to note is that Bryant is past where Megatron was at the same time frame. Megatron’s best season included 78 catches, 1,331 yards with 12 touchdowns in his second year with his record-breaking one coming in season No. 6 at age 27.

Bryant is just entering season No .4 and unlike a running back, a wide receiver is a little slower to evolve, with many not peaking until age 26. Last season with technically three years to go, Bryant fared pretty well.

Then there’s the number of targets that helps a player increase his stats. During Johnson’s first three seasons, he was a target 382 times compared to Bryan’t’s 313. But with this disparity, the two still had similar totals for receiving. Why? Bryant averaged 9.17 yards per target as compared to Johnson’s 8.04 yards.

Bryant can score and plays well in the red zone. He can jump and when looking at each player’s touchdown rate (percentage of catches each receiver makes into touchdowns) Bryant is the winner for a first three years comparison: 13.5 percent versus Johnson’s 10.9 percent.

So as he enters this new season, is Bryant a superior receiver to Johnson? I’d say probably not but when compared to his first three years, his stats paint a different picture. You could argue which player has the better quarterback and fellow offensive strengths and this may also be Advantage Bryant.

This could the receiver’s year if he stays healthy. The pressure is on for this team as well as Bryant and he should definitely keep the hope alive that he could top Megatron in 2013.


Debbie Baratz

Deb has been writing about the NFL and NCAA football for the last few years. She is a full-time writer and an avid sports fan. Follow her on twitter @ldbar.

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