Dez Bryant, entering his fifth year, is the veteran of the wide receiver room. But don’t call him old, as he’s quick to remind that he’s only 25 with a long, bright future in front of him.
“I’m not the old guy!” Bryant said Friday. “I’m not. I’m still one of the youngest.”
Bryant has back-to-back 1,200-plus-yard seasons, with 25 touchdowns in 2012 and ’13 combined. Last season, he made his first Pro Bowl.
“I feel like, man, I’m still rising,” Bryant said. “I learn new things, and things just become easier by the day. To me, it’s almost kind of scary.”
The Cowboys’ new play-caller, Scott Linehan, helped turn Calvin Johnson into the best receiver in the league during his five seasons directing the Lions offense.
Though Bryant insists Johnson’s name never has come up during his discussions with Linehan, Bryant is well aware what Linehan accomplished with the Lions offense.
“One of the best OCs in the business,” Bryant said. “We’ve got a lot of talent on offense over here and hopefully he can do the same, if not better, for us.
“You see what Detroit did. If we just continue to have that mindset that we have now to go out there and be one of the best receiving crews, and just want to go out and be the best receiving group, the best position for this team, we’ll do that.”
Bryant is in the final year of his contract, and his agent and the Cowboys have had preliminary talks. At some point, the Cowboys will reward Bryant with a contract that will rank him among the highest-paying at his position.
“I’m confident in my play, and I’m pretty sure that’s going to take care of itself,” Bryant said. “There is no need for me to be stressed out or worried about it. It’s going to come. Like I say, it’s deserving. We’ll just wait and see what happens.”