PRO: The Dallas Cowboys saw fortune fall their way in the bottom half of the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft when Dez Bryant was still on the board. Regarded by many as one of the top wide receivers and all-around collegiate athletes in the draft class, Bryant found a home with the Cowboys when Dallas traded its 27th overall pick along with a third round choice to New England for the 24th overall pick and a fourth round selection to move up to take the wide receiver. Despite playing just three games as a junior, missing the remainder of the season due to an NCAA mandated suspension, Cowboys personnel staff and coaches saw enough on Bryant’s résumé to make the move in order to add a receiver with the ability to change the game. Bryant did not disappoint in his injury-shortened rookie season as he finished second all-time among club rookies with 45 catches, third with six receiving touchdowns, tied for fifth with eight overall touchdowns and fifth with 564 yards. As was the case at Oklahoma State, Bryant also proved to be a threat on special teams as he returned two punts for touchdowns, including a 93-yarder, averaged 14.3 yards-per-punt return and 22.4 yards-per-kickoff return. Bryant was healthy for the majority of his second season, battling a thigh bruise early which forced him to miss one game. Despite the injury, Bryant finished second on the team in all receiving categories with 63 catches for 928 yards and nine touchdowns. He also led the team with 103 yards on 15 punt returns for a 6.9-yard average. The native Texan (attended Lufkin High School, 175 miles southeast of Dallas) looks to carry on the strong tradition of Cowboys receivers wearing the number 88 as both Drew Pearson and Michael Irvin had storied careers in the number.
12/8/10: Placed on Reserve/Injured (fractured right ankle).
4/22/10: Drafted in the first round (24th overall) by Dallas.
• Finished second on the team in all receiving categories, with 63 catches for 928 yards (14.7 avg.) and nine touchdowns.
• Opened the 2011 season at the N.Y. Jets (9/11) with three catches for 71 yards and a punt return for 12 yards - all in the first quarter - before suffering a thigh injury and being limited throughout the rest of the game.
• Missed the overtime win at San Francisco (9/18) with a thigh injury.
• Returned to the starting lineup for the home-opening win over Washington (9/26) and had a team-best 63 yards on four catches.
• Had a season-best five catches for a season-high 90 yards with a touchdown against St. Louis (10/23).
• Was held to three catches for 28 yards at Philadelphia (10/30).
• Finished the Washington (11/20) win with three catches for 68 yards and one touchdown catch.
• Had three catches for 35 yards and a season-long 20-yard punt return on Thanksgiving Day against Miami (11/24). His long return came on Dallas’ game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter.
• Led the team with eight catches for a team-best 86 yards with his seventh touchdown catch of the season at Arizona (12/4).
• Was held to just one catch - a 50-yard touchdown reception for the longest catch of his career - and a punt return for 10 yards against the N.Y. Giants (12/11).
• Had four catches for 40 yards and a touchdown in the win at Tampa Bay (12/17).
• Led the team with six catches and 62 receiving yards in the home finale against Philadelphia (12/24).
• Closed out the season at the N.Y. Giants (1/1/12) with six catches for 70 yards, two punt returns for 13 yards and his first three kickoff returns for 55 yards.
• Despite playing in only 12 games due to a fractured ankle, finished third on the team in receiving yards (561) and touchdown catches (six) and fourth in receptions (45).
• His 45 catches were the second-most among rookies in club history while his touchdown catches were third and his receiving yards were fifth.
• Among league rookies in 2010, his touchdown receptions were third while his receiving yards were fourth.
• Also shined on return teams, returning two punts for touchdowns and finishing his shortened season with a 14.3 average on 15 punt returns.
• Is the fifth club rookie with a punt return for a touchdown on his résumé, just the second with two and the fifth overall to take back more than one in a season.
• Also saw time as a kickoff returner, boasting a 24.4-yard average on 12 kickoff returns.
• Made his NFL debut in the season opener at Washington (9/12) and finished second on the team with eight catches for 56 yards to tie a club rookie single-game receptions record (Bob Hayes, vs. Philadelphia, 10/10/65, and Jason Witten, vs. Miami, 11/27/03). Also had one punt return for 11 yards.
• In the home opener against Chicago (9/19), scored his first career professional touchdown on a 62-yard punt return - the first Dallas rookie with a punt return for a touchdown since Reggie Swinton took one 65 yards for a score against Denver (11/22/01). Also had two catches for 52 yards.
• Finished the win at Houston (9/26) with four catches for 50 yards and a punt return for 12 yards.
• Made his first career start in a three-receiver set against Tennessee (10/10) and finished with three catches for 22 yards and three punt returns for one yard.
• Had one catch for a 31-yard touchdown - his first career receiving touchdown - at Minnesota (10/17).
• Against the N.Y. Giants (10/25) had a 93-yard punt return for a touchdown which was the second-longest punt return in Cowboys history and the second-longest by a rookie - Dennis Morgan, 98 yards, at St. Louis (10/13/74). It also was his second punt return for a touchdown on the season to make him the seventh Cowboy and the first league rookie to accomplish the feat since Devin Hester had three in 2006.
• Also against the Giants, hauled in two touchdown passes to mark his first career multiple-receiving touchdown game. With three overall touchdowns on the day, became the first Cowboys rookie with three touchdowns in a game since Emmitt Smith had four against Phoenix (12/16/90).
• On the day, had four catches for 54 yards, two touchdowns, one punt return for a 93-yard touchdown and two kickoff returns - the first of his career - for 25 yards.
• Had seven catches for 84 yards and a 12-yard punt return against Jacksonville (10/31).
• Led the team with a team rookie record nine catches for 86 yards with a touchdown and two punt returns for four yards at Green Bay (11/7).
• Led the team with his first 100-yard effort at the N.Y. Giants (11/14) with 104 yards and a touchdown along with four kickoff returns for 86 yards. His 104 yards marked the first 100-yard outing by a Dallas rookie since Antonio Bryant rattled off 170 yards at Washington (12/29/02).
• Against Detroit (11/21) caught three passes for eight yards and a touchdown with a kickoff return for 15 yards. Upped his season receptions total to 44 to tie Antonio Bryant (2002) for second among Cowboys rookies. His sixth receiving touchdown also tied Bryant for the second-most by a team rookie.
• Was held without a catch for the first time of his career on Thanksgiving Day against New Orleans (11/25). Had two kickoff returns for 60 yards, including a 31-yarder, and one punt return for 13 yards.
• In the overtime win at Indianapolis (12/5), had one catch for 14 yards and three kickoff returns for 107 yards with a career-long 43-yard return before leaving the game early in the fourth quarter with a fractured right ankle. Was placed on Reserve/Injured Dec. 8 after undergoing surgery on his right ankle on Dec. 6.
• As a junior, was a preseason consensus All-America, All-Big 12 Conference first-team selection, member of the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, Maxwell Award and Biletnikoff Award Watch Lists in his final collegiate season in 2009.
• Served an NCAA mandated suspension that limited him to the three games, but still managed to finish third on the team with 17 catches for 323 yards (19.0 avg.) and four touchdowns.
• Added 111 yards, including an 82-yard touchdown, on three punt returns and returned two kickoffs for 43 yards, finishing his shortened season with 477 all-purpose yards (159.0 yards-per-game).
• Earned All-America first-team honors from numerous outlets, joining running back Kendall Hunter as the first OSU sophomore position players to receive national recognition since Thurman Thomas in 1985.
• Was also a first-team All-Big 12 choice and finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s top receiver, after starting all 13 games and leading the conference in receiving yards-per-game (113.9), scoring (9.7 – tied for second in the nation), touchdown receptions (19), punt return average (18.0).
• Finished with a 17.0 yard-per-catch average (1,480 on 87 catches) which was the second-most yard-per-catch average and single-season reception total in school history, while his 1,480 yards were the fifth-most in a season in conference history and his 19 touchdowns established a school record, previously held by Rashaun Woods (17 in 2002).
• For the season, totaled 128 points to rank second in school history behind Barry Sanders’ NCAA record of 234 points set in 1988.
• Had a Holiday Bowl record with 13 catches for 167 yards before missing most of the second half with a left knee ligament tear that required surgery.
• Finished 13th in the nation, returning 17 punts for 305 yards with two returned for touchdowns.
• His 1,885 all-purpose yards was fourth in the conference and 23rd nationally.
• Named a Freshman All-America second-team, starting all 12 games in his first collegiate season for OSU.
• Finished with 43 receptions for 622 yards (14.5) and six touchdowns, while gaining 16 rushing yards on two end arounds and 15 yards on two punt returns.
• Finished his prep career at Lufkin High School as a Parade All-American, catching 53 passes for 1,207 yards and 21 touchdowns as a senior.
• Was rated as the 29th-best overall high school football player by ESPN.com, helping guide Lufkin to the state championship.
• Earned an invitation to play in the Offense-Defense All-American Game.
• 2010 Dallas Cowboys Rookie Club.
• 2012 Dallas Cowboys/Miller Fan Fest in San Antonio, Texas.
• 2012 Reliant Home Run Derby benefitting Big Brothers Big Sisters.
• 2012 Dallas Cowboys U High School Camp.
• Annual team Holiday Hospital Visits.
• Annual team Kickoff Luncheon and Dallas Cowboys Family Cookbook benefiting Happy Hill Farm.
• Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas.• Salvation Army Angel Tree Christmas Program.