When the idea to debate the biggest impact by a rookie in this year’s class was tossed around, one name immediately came to mind. When thinking of rookies who are apt to make big plays I tend to think of wide receivers. There’s a guy who was drafted in the first round in 2010 who fits the “big play” mold. I’ve written about this guy in the past, actually (though Babe Ruthless has said that this guy could be a bust). Who? Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, of course.
If I had any lingering doubts about choosing Bryant they were erased when he became the first draft pick in the first round to agree to a contract. He decided it was important to not to let any minor contract disputes linger into camp and disrupt his growth on the field. I get the feeling he knows he has a wonderful opportunity in front of him. And, that’s exactly what’s in front of him. His dedication was evident on Saturday at the start of Dallas Cowboys training camp. Who do you think was the first player on the field? Tony Romo? DeMarcus Ware? Miles Austin? Anyone else? Nope, it was none other than the kid rookie from Oklahoma State. That’s sure to score his some locker room points, and definitely scored him some points with very boisterous Cowboys’ fans.
Bryant certainly comes into the league with a lot of accolades from college. The only real reason he dropped all the way to the 24th pick is because of his meeting with Deion Sanders, and then lying about the meeting with the NCAA. Before that incident, Bryant’s stock was climbing. He had helped make T. Boone Pickens’ Oklahoma State Cowboys relevant again. He was arguably the best receiver in college football in 2008 and had gotten off to a good start in 2009. Then, the story with Prime Time broke. In a flash Bryant’s collegiate career broke into pieces. Bryant appealed the decision, but to no avail. It was unfortunate. Suddenly Bryant’s time in Stillwater was finished.
Dallas, however, saw potential and actually traded up to get him. So far the coaches appear to be raving about him. He’s been spending a lot of individual time working with quarterback Tony Romo. And, with Romo’s gun slinging mentality there’s definitely going to be plenty of chances for Bryant to make plays.
Last season was the coming out party for Miles Austin with the Dallas Cowboys. Perhaps this year could be Bryant’s. Austin, coming off a Pro Bowl season, is the number one guy right now. But the second receiver spot is up for grabs. Roy Williams has been a big disappointment since coming over from Detroit, and Patrick Crayton is nothing more than a third receiver, at best.
The contract is signed. He’s had his first practice at training camp. Now all he has to go out and do is produce. And I believe Dez Bryant will. He will make the Cowboys better.