Dez Bryant didn’t make the Pro Bowl last year despite posting Pro Bowl-worthy numbers--92 catches, 1,382 yard receiving and 12 touchdowns, all career highs. But on Thursday evening, the NFL Network gave Bryant a pretty nice consolation prize when, by way of their annual ranking, they named him the 35th best player in the NFL, regardless of position.
“Dez Bryant showed up week-in and week-out as the main target for Tony Romo,” Hall of Fame defensive lineman and NFLN analyst Warren Sapp said, via the Dallas Morning News. “More importantly than that, when you’re the weapon that a quarterback goes to, a defense circles you, and we have a plan to stop you. And that plan wasn’t good enough for Dez Bryant.
“Dez Bryant was going through double teams, going up and getting the ball. And then he was injured and still coming to work every day. I take my hat off to the young fellow for taking all the noise that was around him and putting his play on the field and showing that he’s a good player in this league.”
Falcons’ receiver Roddy White, who ranked 39th on the list, also had some kind words for the Cowboys’ budding star.
“Look at Dez’s numbers, 1,300 yards, 90 catches, 12 touchdowns, any time you putting up those numbers, you’re supposed to be high on this list,” White said. “Dez is going to be a great player in this league for years to come. He’s very talented, very athletic, a big, strong guy that can run. And nobody wants to tackle him, man. He gets the ball in the open field and he just goes.”
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