Will Dez Bryant be cast into Canton?
By: Jake Rajala
Before Odell Beckham Jr brought swag & talent to the NFC East, Dez Bryant was throwing up the x and haunting opponents. Bryant merely notched 561 yards and six touchdowns in his rookie season, but he proved that he was born in the darkness by unveiling 1,382 yards and 12 TDs in his third season. Bryant made his first Pro Bowl in his fourth season (2013) by hauling 1,233 yds & 13 TDs. The Boys play-maker that was prioritized over Demarco Murray recorded a personal-best 16 TDs in 2014, earning him first-team All-Pro honors.
Bryant only garnered one PB nod between 2015, 2016, & 2017 (which came in 2016). Unfortunately, Bryant Achilles heel was that he unfortunately missed the entire 2018 season due to an Achilles injury. Despite him not taking a snap with Who Dat Nation in 2018, his teammates once “threw up the X” to honor his legacy in a contest. It was clear that Bryant was a shell of himself after the injury. He didn’t sign and compete in the 2019 season and then he only registered 47 yards and two touchdowns in 2020.
Ultimately, Bryant was a routinely significant weapon for one of the most beloved NFL franchises in the league in his playing days. With that enunciated, an intriguing question clouds over Bryant: Is Bryant a future Hall of Famer?
I believe the answer to the prior question is honestly a “no”. Like Desean Jackson, Bryant was an authentic, imposing WR in the NFC East around 2012, but he wasn’t constantly a top-end WR — as he only made one AP team. Furthermore, he wasn’t a quality, stud over a long span at a skill position (just as Frank Gore was). Similar to OBJ and Josh Gordan, he was certainly a polarizing wideout. Although, I would place his career success below Beckham Jr. & above Gordon, and I repeatedly conclude that the Super Bowl-less WR doesn’t deserve to be cast into Canton.
On a side note, I don’t foresee Bryant (or Adrian Peterson) being scooped up by another NFL team.