Here are a few stats that pretty much tell you all you need to know about Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant.
Since the beginning of the 2012 season, Bryant leads all NFL receivers with 33 touchdown receptions (yes, better than Calvin Johnson), is fourth in receiving yards (3,408) and fifth in receptions (241). And with all of that, there are four receivers who make more than $12 million a year — Johnson (justifiably so), Larry Fitzgerald, Percy Harvin and Mike Wallace.
Bryant is in the final year of his five-year rookie deal which will pay him a total of $11.8 million. People like to say rookies should play out their contract and not ask for more, and to Bryant's credit, he's done that over the first four years of his deal. But no one wants to be a lame duck, and Bryant wants an extension. Make no mistake, he deserves a big one.
On Wednesday, Bryant fired a warning shot to reporters at Valley Ranch when asked about his feelings toward the way contract negotiations are moving along, with some reports of concerns with his character being presumably leaked by the club to the NFL Network this past weekend.
"It's all about respect. It's all about respect," Bryant told reporters. "I am a very loyal person, but just don't test my loyalty."
As we wrote on Wednesday, the Cowboys need to step up and give Bryant what he wants. He's a transcendent player who's still in his prime, and might have not even fully reached it yet. Guys like that don't grow on trees. In the world of Jerry Jones, however, money does.