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Dez Bryant's numbers were OK his first two seasons, but not great. His rookie year he went for 561 yards and six touchdowns and followed that up last season with a 928-yard, nine-touchdown performance.
While his numbers weren’t instantly spectacular out of college, Bryant is not alone on his slow assent to greatness.
Actually, many great NFL receivers have taken a few seasons to adjust to the pro game before breaking out, including Terrell Owens, Marvin Harrison and Wes Welker—each of whom took three or four seasons to reach the 1,000 yard mark for the first time.
This list also includes Bryant's predecessor in the Cowboy's No. 88 jersey, Michael Irvin.
Actually, Irvin struggled the first three seasons of his career reeling in pedestrian yardage totals of 654, 378 and 413 yards from 1988-1990.
Like Bryant, Irvin struggled early on in his career with injuries, missing a total of 16 games in his first three years in Dallas. But, in 1992 Irvin had his first fully healthy season and he broke out for his first 1,000-yard campaign, when he went for 1,523 yards and eight touchdowns.
That season he and third-year quarterback Troy Aikman finally clicked, and we all know how that worked out.
Bryant is actually ahead of Irvin's schedule. He has already has established a rapport with quarterback Tony Romo and has proven that he can play at the NFL level. He just needs to find the extra drive to take the next step.
If he does, he could find his own No. 88 jersey hanging next to Irvin’s in the Cowboys rafters at the end of his career.