Bryant looks ahead to upcoming season
Throughout his third season with the Dallas Cowboys it seemed as if Dez Bryant became more comfortable speaking to the media in the locker room at Valley Ranch and after games at Cowboys Stadium. Bryant continued to demonstrate that comfort Wednesday as he appeared on a couple of NFL Network shows and a podcast on NFL.com.
Being one of the most popular players in the NFL, Bryant’s actions are constantly viewed under a microscope. For example, when Bryant says it’s possible for him to catch 20 touchdowns and total 2,000 receiving yards in a season, critics say he should be more focused on team goals than individual accomplishments.
And Bryant hears the criticism.
“I dislike it a lot, but I live with it, I deal with it,” Bryant said on The Dave Dameshek Football Program podcast. “I love football. That’s what I focus on. I don’t really care too much what anybody has to say.”
To clarify his comments about a potential 2,000/20 season, the 24-year-old said it’s “possible” but not where his focus is at.
“You still have to win – that’s the main goal – have to get into the playoffs and we are going to work to do that,” Bryant said.
Bryant added on the TV show NFL Fantasy Live: “I feel like if you’re a wideout, you should be trying to reach 2,000. Calvin Johnson almost did it, so that should be your goal.”
During that fantasy football show Bryant was asked about the outstanding statistics he turned in during the 2012 season. Bryant had a career-high in catches (92), yards (1,382) and touchdowns (12).
The former Oklahoma State standout really turned things up during the second half of the season, totaling 10 touchdowns and 879 yards during the final eight games.
“I wanted to be like Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald,” Bryant said. “I wanted to make a big impact, be a big playmaker for Tony Romo.”
When asked where he would draft himself among the elite fantasy football receivers in the NFL, Bryant said fifth, behind Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, Fitzgerald and Brandon Marshall.
Here are a few other highlights from Bryant’s time with the NFL Network.
On which team is the front-runner to win the NFC East in 2013:
“I’d say us. We’re going to be the front-runner. I feel like what we’re trying to do now is build a championship football team.”
On if there’s pressure on him as a receiver in Dallas to follow in the footsteps of Bob Hayes, Drew Pearson, Michael Irvin and Terrell Owens:
“Not at all. I love football and I love all those guys that you just said. I’m me. I’m my own guy. There’s really no pressure about me wearing 88. I actually love it. I want to build my own, wearing Mike’s number.”
On how a team builds chemistry:
“It doesn’t have to be football things. [We] can spend time outside of the facility, get to know each and everyone on the team; just gaining each and everyone’s respect.”
On if he has spent time with other players in the offseason:
“I go up the facility and Sean Lee is there – he is a monster. I see a lot of guys there, Miles (Austin). We all talk about the season, the upcoming year, what we want to do, the goals we are trying to set. We are really trying to get it.”
On attending a rally against domestic violence in Dallas last week:
“I feel like real men don’t hit women, point blank, period. I am against domestic violence. I just wanted to be out there to show my support, be there for a friend. It felt great to be out there.”
On what it’s like to be a rookie in the NFL:
“It gets crazy. It gets hectic. Everything’s coming so fast. That playbook is crazy. It’s a lot of work.”
Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota