Thursday, January 9, 2014
NFLN survey/feared player: Cowboys
By Todd Archer
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamakong Suh took home the award as the NFL’s most feared player from an anonymous vote of his peers conducted by ESPN's NFL Nation. Dez Bryant is the Dallas Cowboys' most feared player.
In the recent past, DeMarcus Ware would have received this nod with his double-digit sack seasons, consecutive Pro Bowls and unearthly athleticism. But 2013 was not kind to Ware, who was limited to a career-low six sacks because of numerous injuries.
Bryant is coming off his second straight 90-catch season, earned his first Pro Bowl appearance and has even more unearthly athleticism than Ware.
Bryant had 93 catches for 1,233 yards and 13 touchdowns. The last time a Cowboy had 13 touchdown catches in a season was Terrell Owens in 2006. He became the first Cowboys receiver with back-to-back 90-catch seasons. Tight end Jason Witten had back-to-back 94-catch seasons in 2009-10.
Bryant can make plays that few receivers in the NFL can make. Think of his back-shoulder catch against the Lions in which he pinned the ball to his helmet. He can break tackles like few receivers based on his strength. He has improved as a route-runner and his understanding of his game.
All of it adds up to teams being most fearful of Bryant.