When a storied franchise like the Dallas Cowboys issue player jersey numbers, they usually mean something. Back in 2010, when Dallas made Dez Bryant their first-round pick, the former Oklahoma State WR was issued number 88.
Bryant had a ton of pressure living up to his first-round status. But was there even more pressure to live up to his jersey number that was previously worn by such Cowboy legends as Michael Irvin and Drew Pearson?
In his brief two-year career, Bryant has shown signs of brilliance. He got the state of Texas buzzing right away in October of 2010 when he caught two touchdowns from Tony Romo on Monday Night Football.
However, with every step forward, it seems Bryant has taken a step back. He’d have a solid game, but it would be followed by mental lapses and dropped balls. Last year, he did not have a 100-yard game, but in fairness, he was slowed down with a thigh bruise.
It’s season three for Bryant. Will this be a breakout one?
For starters, Bryant has taken this offseason more seriously than in the past. He has undergone an impressive conditioning program with Cowboys strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik. Bryant recently bragged on Twitter that he has 3.1 percent body fat. Sound body, sound mind. The Cowboys are hoping that’s the case.
Last year, Bryant put up decent numbers with 63 receptions, 928 yards and nine touchdowns.
Cowboys fans are looking beyond decent. They are looking for a breakout year for No. 88.