Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Bryant not on top 101 player list
By Calvin Watkins
When you compile a list of the top 100 players in the NFL, it's a major undertaking. You need to look at the stats, the type of talent, the opponents played against, almost everything.
Pro Football Focus recently came out with its Top 101 players, and Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant wasn't listed.
Bryant earned his first Pro Bowl berth in 2013 after catching 93 passes for 1,233 yards with 13 touchdowns. He tied for third in touchdowns and was fifth in first downs earned (67) for players at his position.
Bryant wasn't perfect, but he was among the best receivers in the game.
He disappeared in a few games, such as contests against Detroit and New Orleans. He had some dropped passes (six) and fumbles (three).
No player is perfect. Tom Brady is considered one of the top quarterbacks in the league, yet he hasn't won a Super Bowl in roughly 10 years.
But PFF not having Bryant among the Top 101 players in the league is questionable.
Steve Palazzolo of PFF wrote a column about Bryant missing the list.
Palazzolo wrote in part: "Just going through Bryant's positives and negatives have me going back and forth about Bryant's inclusion on the list. He has the ability to take over and dominate a game, and he certainly did that his fair share of the time in 2013, but his pedestrian finish is tough to overlook. When combined with the deep class of wide receivers, it made it difficult to find a place for Bryant, though I still think he should have landed somewhere in the 90s."
Bryant had an outstanding start, but his finish included a stretch of games between Weeks 9-13 when he failed to perform to his previous 2013 level.
I think Bryant is a top 100 player, and while the NFL Network hasn't finished its ongoing list, it's expected that he will make that list.
So far, the Cowboys had four listed among the top 100 on NFL Network: Tony Romo (71), Tyron Smith (78), DeMarco Murray (87) and Jason Witten (98).
PFF listed just three Cowboys: Smith (44), Jason Hatcher (66) and Murray (76).
Maybe PFF has it right. The Cowboys didn't reach the postseason for a third consecutive season with an 8-8 mark, and you would have to think this is a mediocre franchise with average talent.
Bryant isn't an average talent.
He's an elite player who did have some difficult games. But a receiver is only as good as the playcaller and the quarterback giving him the ball.
Now, Bryant could do a better job on some of his routes and at times, I think he gets tired as the game progresses. He puts forth so much energy early in the game, it takes him a while to get a second wind come the final 30 minutes.
Outside of these things, which can be corrected, Bryant is a top-100 player.