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Cowboys Midsummer Madness, Second Round: Dez Bryant vs. Tony Dorsett

Round two of our Midsummer Madness tournament is underway! Today’s match-up features seven seed Dez Bryant facing off against second seed Tony Dorsett. Who will advance to the Sweet Sixteen?

As we wind our way through the Pete Rozelle regional, we come to a very interesting match-up: seventh-seeded Dez Bryant versus second-seeded Tony Dorsett offers a study in contrasts: a dominant receiver in a passing era versus a dominant runner from the ground-heavy past; a likely future Hall of Famer and a man already enshrined. At the same time, they share the distinction of being the most explosive force on a dominant offensive unit - the man rival defensive coordinators determine must be stopped. Who will move on and join Bob Lilly, Lee Roy Jordan and Larry Allen in the round of sixteen? Read the bios and comments and cast your ballots, good people!

Wanna keep tabs on the state of the bracket or look ahead to future contests? All the Midsummer Madness info you could ever want can be found right here.


Player: Dez Bryant

Position: wide receiver

Seed: 7

How he got here: defeated George Andrie, 441-221


Name Years Career AV Pro Bowls All-Pro RoH HoF
Dez Bryant

Bio: Bryant was selected in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, and the team's expectations for him were immediately clear, as he was given jersey number 88. As a rookie, Bryant, as the third receiver, finished with 45 receptions for 561 yards and 6 receiving touchdowns, adding two punt returns for scores, including a 93-yarder against the Giants, the longest for any Cowboy since 1974. In 2011, he earned the starting role, increasing his season totals to 63 receptions for 928 yards and 9 touchdowns.

In every year since then, Bryant has caught at least 88 passes, and totaled no fewer than 1,233 yards and twelve touchdowns, becoming the first receiver in team history with three straight 80-catch, 1,000-yard, 10-touchdown seasons. In the process, he has become arguably the most feared wideout in the NFL; in 2014, he led the league in receiving touchdowns with 16, also a franchise record. In recognition, he has been elected to Pro Bowl the last two seasons, and was an All-Pro in 2014. After the 2013 season, he was ranked number 25 on the NFL Top 100 players list; its a certainly that he will be higher on this year's list.

The scary part is that Bryant is just getting started; Dez has been dominant thus far and just entered the heart of his career. It wouldn't surprise to see him make a strong run at the Cowboys' record books before all is said and done. Indeed, he's a good bet to have a Hall of Fame caliber career. I for one will enjoy watching it unfold.

Member comments:

Member Comment
RKO Dez is the first Cowboy to make me jump out of my chair and scream like a little girl since Roger -n- Drew in '75

As to what makes Dez transcendent, third all-time in touchdowns over the first five years of a career, and one of just four WRs in NFL history to score 50+ TDs in that period. Top 10 all-time in yardage and receptions over the same period. Best WR in the NFL in the period 1998-2014 in the red zone as measured by expected TDs over average. Arguably the most dominant start to a career by any receiver not named Rice or Moss. For instance, here’s how he compared to some of the best modern WRs through their first 50 games:

Vegas Cowboy

I vote for Dez because

he is an amazing talent, yes. However, my main reason is I think he embodies what it means to be a Cowboy. His passion for winning, team first mentality, and his ability to motivate those around him are the main reason he gets my vote.


Player: Tony Dorsett

Position: running back

Seed: 2

How he got here: defeated Thomas Henderson, 578-12


Name Years Career AV Pro Bowls All-Pro RoH HoF
Anthony Drew Dorsett

Bio: Dorsett was drafted with the second pick of the first round of the 1977 Draft. Although he wasn't immediately installed as the team's starting tailback (Tom Landry didn't know exactly what to do with him), he did make an impact, eventually starting four games and rushing for 1,007 yards and 12 touchdowns, which was enough to take him Rookie of the Year honors.More importantly, he added an element to a team that had everything except an elite runner, and the Cowboys won Super Bowl XII at the end of his initial campaign.

Dorsett enjoyed 1,000-yard seasons in eight of his first nine years in the league, with the lone exception being the strike-ridden 1982 season, when he led the NFC in rushing with 745 yards. In his sophomore campaign, Dorsett recorded 1,325 yards and nine touchdowns, helping the Cowboys to reach another Super Bowl, where they lost to the Steelers. His most productive season was in 1981, when he recorded 1,646 yards, breaking the Cowboys franchise record, and averaged 102.9 yards per game.

In his eleven years in Dallas, Dorsett rushed for 12,036 yards and 72 touchdowns, including an NFL-record 99-yarder in a Monday Night tilt against the Vikings. He caught another 382 passes for 3,432 yards and thirteen scores. As these numbers suggest, Dorsett was versatile; he was also surprisingly durable for his size, missing only six games in his Dallas tenure. Dorsett was a four-time Pro Bowler, and was a first-team All-Pro in 1981 and a second-team All-Pro in 1982 and '83. In 1999, he was ranked number 53 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.

Dorsett is one of only two players in history (the other is Marcus Allen) who has won the Heisman Trophy, a Super Bowl, and a National Championship, and has been enshrined in both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame. In the same year, 1994, he was added to the Ring of Honor and elected to both College and Pro Football Halls.

*Dorsett's AV with the Cowboys was 132; his career AV (two teams) was 138.

Member comments:

Member Comment

I would rank Tony D right up there with Emmitt Smith

In fact without Tony you may not have seen Dallas have a feature back; Landry liked to feature at least 2 if not 3 and Dorsett was one of the few to be used only as a Tailback. Whenever I see a misdirection I think of Tony Dorsett - Landry got very creative with Tony as the feature back.

Jonathan Stern

The prettiest running back ever - Tony Dorsett


...some others have had faster top speed, but Dorsett probably had the fastest acceleration to top speed in NFL history.

Alright, BTBers, which man advances to the sweet sixteen?

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