Calvin Johnson seems to be the consensus pick for the best wide receiver in the NFL. However, the Dallas Cowboys' top wide out, may not agree with that assessment.
"I believe I can do whatever he can do," Dez Bryant told 103.3 FM ESPN in Dallas. "I think it's just a pride thing. When it comes to football, just being on the field, it's a mindset and having a mentality. I honestly believe when I'm there, I'll be feeling like there's nothing I can't do. Whatever the coaches ask me to do, I'm going to do it."
Both receivers will go head-to-head this Sunday when the Detroit Lions host the Cowboys. Both teams have had similar seasons, entering Week Eight at 4-3.
Bryant has been a main reason for Dallas’s ascension to first place. He ranks in the top ten in yards, touchdowns and receptions. Last year, he set career-highs with 92 catches, 1,382 yards and 12 scores.
Johnson made history in 2012, catching 122 balls for 1,964 yards. In 2013, Bryant has gotten the better of his counterpart. The All-Pro has been battling a knee injury that forced him to miss a game. His 492 receiving yards rank him 20th in the NFL, though he appears to be recovering nicely. Last week, he hauled in a season-high nine catches for 155 yards and two touchdowns.
"I don't compare myself with anybody” Bryant said on Wednesday, somewhat backtracking from his previous statement. “I think when you get to comparing yourself with others, that's when you start to have a downfall. But to answer your question, what I was saying was, I can make catches and all of that. Things he can do, I can do. But I wasn't saying it as it was just me who was able to do it. I'm pretty sure the next guy would say the same exact thing."
Both the Detroit and Dallas offenses rely on Johnson and Bryant in order to score. They’ve each struggled in the running game, and are included among the 12 teams that average less than 100 yards on the ground per game. The Lions have no rushing touchdowns in their last four games.
The development of Bryant has helped Tony Romo have the best season of his career. He’s already surpassed the 2,000-yard mark on the year with a 101.6 passer rating and 15 touchdowns. If it weren’t for Peyton Manning, he might in the discussion to win the MVP award.
Likewise, Matthew Stafford has taken a step forward this year, completing 15 touchdown passes and just four interceptions. Those numbers have translated into team success after a four-win season a year ago.
The Cowboys are coming off a 17-3 win against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Lions lost to the Cincinnati Bengals in their last game.
Las Vegas Betting Odds: Detroit favored by 3 points
Over-Under: 51 points
Where To Watch Online: NFL Sunday Ticket Max
Kickoff Time: 1:00 PM Eastern Time
TV Channel: FOX
Prediction: Dallas 30, Detroit 24