Week Thirteen Analysis:
Dez Bryant caught nine of the 16 targets he saw last week, which is a good indicator that his back is feeling better. He should return to dominant form on Thursday at home against the Raiders, who have allowed the second-most touchdowns to wide receivers over the last five weeks. Bryant has totaled five touchdowns against AFC West opponents this season, and the Raiders might be the least intimidating team in the division. Every game is a playoff game for the Cowboys going forward, and Dez should continue to see lofty targets like last week when he garnered over 42% of the looks from Tony Romo.
Week Twelve Analysis:
Thanks in part to a lingering back injury, it's been about a month since Dez Bryant did some real damage to the opposition, but this week he'll find a foe he's foiled in the past, the New York Giants. Dez actually caught just four balls for 22 yards in the opening week, but he totaled 195 yards in their two divisional meetings last season and has scored four times on them in his short career. After a rough start, the Giants' secondary has played better, as they've allowed the eighth-fewest yards and zero touchdowns to receivers in the last four games. But last week, Packers' wideouts totaled 263 yards on the G-Men (117 to Jordy Nelson), so production should be expected here.
Week Ten Analysis:
Dez Bryant is averaging more than six receptions, 100 yards, and a touchdown per road game this season, which is where he'll be this week. Dallas is in New Orleans, and Bryant caught a crazy nine balls for 224 yards and two touchdowns when these teams met last year. The Saints are much-improved on defense this year though, and more specifically, according to Pro Football Focus they rank 12th in pass coverage after finishing last in 2012. Still, this game reeks of a shootout, and Bryant is one of two players with double-digit targets inside the 10-yard line and one of four players with at least five looks inside the five.
Week Nine Analysis:
Sure he may have thrown an epic temper tantrum, but Dez Bryant is the only receiver with three multiple-touchdown games this season, and he has another gimme this Sunday at home against the Vikings. Minnesota has surrendered five touchdowns to wideouts over the last three weeks, and is one of three teams allowing more than 15 receptions per game to the position. The Vikings remain without free safety Harrison Smith, their best player in the secondary, and starters Chris Cook and Jamarca Sanford are nursing injuries and are questionable to play. Additionally, Dez is one of two players with 10 targets inside the 10-yard line this season, and he should have multiple opportunities to score on Sunday.
Week Eight Analysis:
Dez Bryant pays a visit to Megatron's lair this week, and he'll certainly be motivated in a marquee matchup against Calvin Johnson. Lions corner Chris Houston was paddled like a frat boy by A.J. Green last week, and Bryant is fresh off his beasting against the Eagles, so there's no real threat of shutdown coverage. Detroit's secondary is struggling as a whole, allowing well over 200 yards and a touchdown to opposing receivers in their last three games. Dez Bryant should find space against any Lions cornerback, all of whom rank bottom-half in pass coverage at the position according to Pro Football Focus.
Week Seven Analysis:
Dez Bryant did not deliver last Sunday night, but chances are good he bounces back against the Eagles, who are the only team in the NFL allowing more than two touchdowns per game to receivers. Comparable big, physical wideouts like Demaryius Thomas and Vincent Jackson have registered multi-touchdown games against Philly in the last three weeks, and Dez could very well do the same considering he totaled three touchdowns in two tilts with the Eagles last season while averaging more than 92 yards per game.
Week Six Analysis:
Dez Bryant has scored three touchdowns in his last three games against the Redskins, and in their last meeting in Jerry World, he caught 12 balls for 145 yards. Washington has been a defensive train wreck this season, allowing wide receivers alone to average more than one touchdown and 222 yards per game. The Skins are fresh off their bye week, but who cares; Dez gets nearly 30% of Tony Romo's many targets and has the most receiving touchdowns in the league over the last four games with six – that's more than the wide receivers on Houston, Atlanta, and New Orleans…combined.
Week Five Analysis:
Last week, Dez Bryant got to twice throw up his "X" in the end zone and has now crossed the stripe 14 times in his last 12 games. He next faces the Broncos, who have allowed the third-most passing yards this season because opposing teams have no choice but to throw in order to keep pace. Denver is allowing 13.4 yards per catch, the second-worst in the league, and it's yet to be determined if cornerback Champ Bailey will make his long-awaited season debut. He will likely draw Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as well as some double teams, but Bryant's four targets inside the 10-yard line are tied for third-most among receivers, and he should remain Tony Romo's top threat despite whatever coverage is drawn.
Week Four Analysis:
He wasn't needed much last Sunday when Dallas dismantled St. Louis with their ground attack, but Dez Bryant did manage to score for the second straight week, and now faces a soft San Diego defense that is allowing over 340 passing yards per game. The Chargers have also surrendered the fourth-most receptions and second-most yards to receivers, making this another slam dunk start for Bryant, who has tallied five touchdowns in his last seven road games.
Week Three Analysis:
Despite a huge dropped pass, Dez Bryant dismissed any concern about his strained foot after tomahawking the Chiefs secondary for nine catches, 141 yards, and a score. He will welcome an underachieving Rams defense with open arms when the Cowboys play host on Sunday. Big names are having big games against St. Louis this season. Larry Fitzgerald and Julio Jones have combined for 19 catches, 262 yards, and three touchdowns against the Rams, and Bryant could be next in line at that buffet. The Rams have also allowed the second-most receptions and yards to receivers, and their top corner Janoris Jenkins is tied for the most missed tackles among cornerbacks.
Week Two Analysis:
Dez Bryant delivered a dud in a favorable matchup against the Giants last Sunday night with only four catches and 22 yards. His eight targets weren't awful, but it was evident the New York was determined to double Dez all night. He also sustained a sprained foot, which you'll want to monitor up to kickoff. The Chiefs allowed the fourth-most touchdowns to wide receivers last season, and shutting down Jacksonville last week doesn't prove their issues on defense are nearly resolved. Brandon Flowers is always a concern as an opposing corner, but the very physical (and beatable) Sean Smith could end up getting the Bryant assignment, which would bode very well for Dez.
Week One Analysis:
Coming off a strong preseason with a clean nose and all fingers functioning, Dez Bryant is poised to build-off the final 13 weeks in which he topped all wide receivers in scoring. Bryant has caught 13 of 14 passes thrown his way in limited preseason play. And against the Bengals in the third game, he impressively carried the Cowboys on a five-catch drive that ended in a five-yard touchdown. Last year, the Giants, who have done little to bolster their Swiss cheese secondary, were downright pitiful against the pass and ranked bottom-six in yards and touchdowns allowed to receivers. They also lost safety Stevie Brown for the season, their best player at the position. Despite Dez scoring only once in his last four meetings with New York; he's averaged a respectable 78.8 yards per game. Meanwhile, Tony Romo's average line is over 330 passing yards and two touchdowns, which is an excellent predicator for his go-to receiver.
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