It's hard not to expect great things from Dez Bryant in 2013. He's coming off a monster stretch run to close out 2012, when he produced 50 catches, 879 yards and 10 touchdowns in his final eight games.
He doesn't mind the target on his back, however. In fact, Bryant said recently he relishes it and that the reason he loves being a member of the Cowboys is because people "love to hate" Dallas' football team.
"I feel like the greatest thing about being on the Cowboys [is] people love to hate the Cowboys," Bryant told the Dallas Morning News. "That makes you work 10 times harder. They put the big target on us or whatever, and speaking for myself, it doesn't bother me."
There's no telling what made Bryant summon his inner Baldwin Brother when discussing the football team he plays for, but it's good to see the often-scrutinized-but-secretly-maturing wideout get pumped up about repping his team.
Of course, later on Tuesday he changed his tune quite a bit, complaining about the media and the "twist" they (we?) put on players' words.
I'm never talking with the media outside of valley ranch all they do is twist your words....— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) April 9, 2013
Best I can tell, Bryant's a little miffed about the fact he said it was possible for him to top 2,000 yards in 2013 and a bunch of people freaked out that he was being selfish.
As my CBSSports.com colleague Ryan Wilson wrote at the time of Dez's claim, "what else should Bryant say?" It's not like he went around bragging about how awesome a year he'd have in 2013; Bryant simply said it "could potentially happen."
The basic nature of that sentence construction doesn't exactly lend itself to braggadocio. And it shows an inherent bias that we've (they've?) got towards someone like Bryant; another wide receiver of his skill level makes that claim and we might endorse it.
Besides, it's not like it's that big of a stretch. Extrapolate Bryant's final eight games over a full season and you get 1,758 yards and 20 touchdowns. That's fuzzy math to a degree, but laughing it off as a selfish claim by an elite wide receiver is just trolling.