You hear about players having breakout seasons all the time, but you rarely hear anyone talk about someone having a breakout offseason.
Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant had a breakout season in 2012. After two years of inconsistent performances and injuries, Bryant played in all 16 games for the Cowboys and turned in 92 catches for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns. Those were the kind of numbers that the team hoped to see when they took Bryant in the first round of the 2010 draft and numbers they likely worried about seeing after a chaotic offseason that culminated with an arrest for allegedly hitting his own mother.
Just as things came together for Bryant on the field last season, they seem to have come together for him off of it this year. Bryant’s name has only come up when people are talking about how focused he’s been on football and how much he’s grown up since the start of last season. Bryant took some time Tuesday to talk about his changed approach.
“I found myself,” Bryant said, via ESPNDallas.com. “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.”
After Bryant’s arrest last summer, there was a lot of talk about a set of behavioral guidelines that Bryant had to follow to remain a member of the Cowboys. The Cowboys denied putting them in place, but owner Jerry Jones said Bryant had to change his lifestyle to stay in Dallas. One doesn’t count their chickens before they hatch, so we’ll say only that all those efforts have paid off to this point and produced the best Bryant we’ve seen on and off the field since he entered the NFL.