|Team:||New Orleans Saints|
|Ht / Wt:||6'2" / 220 lb.|
|Born:||November 4, 1988|
|Drafted:||2010 / Rd. 1 (24)|
Desmond Demond "Dez" Bryant was born on November 4, 1989, in Gavelston County, TX. He was raised in Lufkin, TX, an eastern Texas city just north of Houston, where he attended Lufkin High School. Bryant played alongside DT Jamarkus McFarland (formerly with San Diego Chargers) who is now a member of the Oklahoma Sooners coaching staff as a graduate assistant. In Bryant’s junior year, he led the team with 48 receptions and 1,025 yards of receiving as well as 16 TDs as a wide receiver.The team’s 14-1 record that year took them all the way to the stat’s 5A Division II semi-finals.
Bryant’s senior year saw him make 53 receptions for 1,207 yards and 21 TDs. He would be named an All American by both SuperPrep and Parade. Considered the 9th best prep WR in the country and second best player in the State of Texas behind WR Terrence Tolliver (who committed to LSU and currently plays WR for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL), he also competed on the school’s track and field squad. He was a member of Lufkin H.S.’s 4X100 and 4X200 meter teams and also participated in the triple jump and 100 and 300 meter races.
Bryant was recruited as one of the nation’s top WRs by several FBS schools, including Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech. He decided to join the Oklahoma State University Cowboys as a rookie freshman in 2007, where he would play three seasons (2007-2009). He established a freshman receiving record at OSU against the Kansas Jayhawks with 155 yards. In one of his collegiate career highlights, he turned in a stellar performance in the 2007 Insight Bowl against the Indiana Hoosiers of the Big Ten. In a 49-33 bowl game victory for OSU, Bryant caught the ball 9 times for 117 yards and scored 2 touchdowns.
Dez Bryant’s sophomore year at OSU saw him make 87 receptions for 1,480 yards and 19 touchdowns. He also added 305 yards in punt receptions that also included 2 TDs. His second year campaign saw him named as a first team All-American by the AFCA, Associated Press, Walter Camp, Sporting News, Pro Football Weekly, and Sports Illustrated magazine. Ruled ineligible for his junior year due to a NCAA rule infraction, Bryant finished his career at OSU with 147 receptions, 2,425 yards receiving and 32 TDs, including 3 TDs by punt return.
Bryant declared himself eligible for the 2010 NFL draft. During his participation in the NFL combine, Dez ran a 40 time of 4.52 seconds. He did not post times in the 60 yard shuttle or post a result in the 35 inch vertical leap, although his Pro Day result held at OSU in the 35 inch vertical leap was 38 inches. The Dallas Cowboys traded up with the New England Patriots to the 24th pick overall in the 2010 draft to select Bryant. Bryant was signed to a 5-year contract with a salary of $$12.05 million. Of the amount he signed for (similar to the contract offer made to Minnesota Viking receiver Percy Harvin) $8.4 million was guaranteed.
Bryant received the team’s franchise tag during the 2015 season for a contract worth $12.8 million. He was able to negotiate a contract in July with the Cowboys that would pay him $70 million over five years, $45 million of which is guaranteed money, and a signing bonus of $20 million. Limited by a fractured foot discovered in a Sunday night divisional game against the New York Giants, Bryant would complete 2015 with 31 catches for 401 yards and 3 TDs.
Dez Bryant began the 2016 with a week 3 injury against the Chicago Bears, which forced him out of the lineup for 5 games. He would play the remaining eight games of the Cowboys 13-3 season with 50 catches and 796 yards receiving along with eight receiving TDs. His best game of the season was in a January 15, 2017 NFC Divisional round playoff match-up, which the Cowboys lost 34-31. In the game, Bryant caught the ball 9 times for 132 yards in receiving yards and 2 TDs. His efforts were enough to get him named to the NFC Pro Bowl for the third time in his NFL career.
Dez was born to Angela Bryant, a single mother who gave him up to be raised in several homes during his time in Lufkin, TX. He is the father of two sons, Zayne and Dez, Jr. In 2014 Bryant launched a personal apparel line of clothing under the brand “ThrowUpTheX,” an homage to his famous TD celebration. Bryant’s handle on Twitter is @DezBryant.