Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Dez Bryant has been receiving the majority of the hype out in the "Big D." Bryant has a deadly combination of size, speed and strength that could make him into one of the top three wide receivers in the game. But, for now, he is still a second year wideout with a lot to learn.
Here are a few reasons that he will not meet expectations this year in Dallas
- He is the fourth option on the Cowboys offense. Bryant is playing behind established veterans that know what they have to do to get the ball. Players such as Jason Witten, Miles Austin and Felix Jones will most always be targeted in games over Bryant. This past Sunday's debacle against the Jets was no exception where Bryant was third in receptions with only three. He tied Felix Jones in receptions and was behind Austin (five) and Witten (six). Bryant is the home run threat, but this distribution of catches and targets should continue all year long.
- Tony Romo and the offensive line are questionable. If the offensive line is unable to protect Romo this year, there will not be much time for Romo to get the ball deep down the field in the hands of Bryant. The Cowboys' O-Line has three new starters, including two rookies in Tyron Smith and Bill Nagy, and a second year undrafted free agent in Phil Costa. Though they proved to be resilient against an overrated Jets pass rush, they could struggle down the line as defenses figure out their blocking schemes. Bryant could be the victim of this poor offensive line, with no depth, as Romo will look to go to his established veterans more often when he is in trouble.
Now don't get me wrong, Dez Bryant is a sure-fire star in this league. Just don't look for him to do great things in only his second year. Remember, he is only 22 years young. Cowboys fans should be patient with their young superstar and not expect too much out of him too early.
2011 prediction: 55 receptions, 650 yards, five touchdowns