The Cowboys’ 2012 season ended with Dez Bryant leaving FedEx Field with back spasms so bad that he had to be taken out by wheelchair. After spending the night in a D.C.-area hospital following the game, Bryant had to have finger surgery on the broken digit he had played with the final four games of the season.
But even that wasn’t enough to slow down the third-year receiver, whose breakout season allowed the 8-8 Cowboys even to be in a Week 17 game with the NFC East on the line. Bryant finished the season with 92 catches, 1,382 receiving yards and had a seven-game TD streak through Week 16, during which the Cowboys were 5-2.
At times, he and Tony Romo carried the offense. For that, Bryant was named the Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers of America Most Improved Player.
“Dez has continued to improve throughout this year for a few very obvious reasons,” Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett told PFW. “First, he loves to play the game and he loves to compete. In addition to that, he has learned how to practice better, how to dedicate himself to learning everything that goes on from a preparation standpoint — both mentally and physically.”