Dez Bryant continues to mature

ESPN - [Full Article]

Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett, the two biggest faces with the Dallas Cowboys, praised the work of wide receiver Dez Bryant in two separate conversations last week at the NFL owners meetings.

And not just his on-the-field work, but what he's done off the field.

"He's just a really, really good young man," Garrett said. "He's made great strides over the last three years. We feel good about the progress he's made, not only as a player but as a person. We all know from the background from where he came; he's really grown a lot. I think the consistency that he's shown in his personal life spills over and the consistency he's shown as a player and his production he's shown on Sundays. I feel great about his progress and try to stay in touch with him, with all our players."

On Saturday, Bryant made a surprise appearance at a rally against domestic violence in Dallas.

"Is it dreaming to think that we can have a more effective Dez Bryant?" Jones said. "In the sense, Dez just gets better and has a better understanding of what he's doing when he's not getting the ball: How he's helping Miles (Austin) out. How he's helping (Dwayne) Harris out. How he's helping (James) Hanna and how he's helping (Jason) Witten. But he has a better understanding there. I'm looking forward to a more effective Dez Bryant, and everything I'm saying about his work is showing us that."

Fantasy Impact: 

The biggest concern with Bryant is what off-the-field trouble he might get into, but he seems to be maturing to a point where that's not much of an issue any longer. His production after the Cowboys' Week 5 bye (5.9-93-1.0) was better than Calvin Johnson's season averages. He averaged 6.3 catches for 110 yards and 1.13 TDs in his last eight games. That projects to 101-1760-18 (or 284 fantasy points) over the course of a 16-game season. Since 2001, only Randy Moss (2003, 2007) and Calvin Johnson (2011) scored more than 260 FP in a season, so Bryant finished on a torrid pace. He's likely to be a 2nd round pick in 2013.

Filed Under: 2013, Preseason