Recently, Dez Bryant has been falling down or even out of the “Top NFL wide receiver” discussions among many football heads. I'm here to tell you to expect a monster season from 88. It took Dak Prescott some time to get on the same page with Dez last season, but towards the end of the year you could tell they had improved their chemistry.
Now, they have a full offseason to work together as starters.
You've heard people say that Dak could have a worse season because Dallas will be opening up their playbook and expecting more of him. Some say that Dak Prescott will have more interceptions because he will take more chances. Well, “chances” with Dez Bryant are more like sure things (unless the referees get involved).
Fifty-fifty balls thrown to Dez are more like 80-20 balls; Dez has shown he can corral almost anything. If Dak is going to take more chances and has better rapport with Dez, we can expect an uptick in targets.
This Dallas offense looks to have more weapons than it has in years.
We aren't sure yet if Ryan Switzer or Rico Gathers will have much of an impact, but if one or both can bring an added dimension to an already potent offense, look out NFL. Toss in Ezekiel Elliott looking to improve on his rookie season and be more involved in the passing game and this offense could be downright unstoppable.
Good luck focusing on Dez Bryant, defenses.
Of course, you can't reflect on Dallas' great offense without crediting the offensive line.
With La'el Collins getting work at right tackle, this line has a chance to be even more athletic and dominant. It'll be hard to match what they have done previously, but the talent is certainly present. The hope is that Frank Pollack & Co. minimize the loss of Ronald Leary.
One thing that could derail all of this is Dez Bryant's health. He's missed a few games the past two season, but he looks to be healthy heading into this one. Let's cross our fingers and hope he stays that way.
Lastly, the defense has a chance to be better.
Dallas obviously targeted defense in this draft and ended up with a few players who have a chance to be play-makers. It may take them time to come along, but if this unit can increase takeaways and force more punts, that only increases Dez Bryant's opportunities.
But why is this season going to be his best? How can Bryant top 2014?
Let's look at his 2014 stats, compared to his last seven games of 2016 spread out across a full season:
As you see those are very similar. Assuming things go well in Dallas, this wouldn't surprise me in the least; personally I think he could top both of those stat lines if everything falls right.
Still, you may be asking yourself why 2017 will definitely be the better year.
The answer? Because if things break right, this will be the deepest post-season run of Bryant's career. Dallas has Super Bowl aspirations and if they get close this will be Dez's best year ever.