Dez Bryant has never ranked higher than seventh in targets. That came in 2013. In his All-Pro season of 2014, Bryant ranked only 12th in targets with 136 but made 88 catches for 1,320 yards and a league-best 16 touchdowns.
Bryant has battled injuries the past two seasons, missing 10 total games. His combined catches (81), yards (1,197) and touchdowns (11) combined in 2015-16 don’t equal his output in 2014.
Can Bryant get back to his 2014 level in an offense that attempted only 38 passes that traveled 20 or more yards through the air last season, that drafted another slot receiver in Ryan Switzer and that plans to make running back Ezekiel Elliott an even bigger part of the offense this season?
“We’re just going to see what happens,” Bryant said, via Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Like I said, I feel good. Also what a lot of these people have to understand, hey, man, we’re not a pass friendly offense. That’s no disrespect. I respect what we do around here, and I accepted that. But when that ball comes my way, I’m going to do what I’ve got to do.
“I sit here and say, ‘I don’t think nobody has been more productive with the amount of targets that I get.’ I don’t get as many, and I’m not complaining. At the same time, if I was getting that many passes, I’d be doing that much damage [as other feature receivers] too.”
This stands as an important year for Bryant, 28. He enters the third year of a five-year, $70 million deal with a $17 million cap hit this year and $16.5 million each of the next two seasons. The Cowboys need a healthy Bryant to show them he remains among the best at his position.