Where Dez's first three years rank among all-time great starts

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by percyhoward, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    ranked by TD (bold = Hall of Fame)
    min 150 catches, 2700 yards, 25 TD (50 rec, 900 yds per season avg)

    1 Randy Moss (1998-2000) 226 rec 4163 yds 43 td
    2 Jerry Rice (1985-1987) 200 rec 3575 yds 40 td
    3 John Jefferson (1978-1980) 199 rec 3431 yds 36 td
    4 Bob Hayes (1965-1967) 160 rec 3253 yds 35 td
    5 Dez Bryant (2010-2012) 200 rec 2871 yds 27 td
    6 Andre Rison (1989-1991) 215 rec 3004 yds 26 td
    7 Joey Galloway (1995-1997) 196 rec 3075 yds 26 td
    8 Mike Ditka (1961-1963) 173 rec 2774 yds 25 td
    9 Dave Parks (1964-1966) 182 rec 3021 yds 25 td

    Everyone ahead of Dez in TD went to multiple Pro Bowls and playoffs during their first 3 seasons. Their teams' average winning % in those seasons was .694, so these were all good teams. It could be argued that Dez has had the best 3-year start for a receiver who did not play on a winning team.

    Also note that the list is not dominated by players from the current era.
  2. Apollo Creed

    Apollo Creed Stackin and Processin, Well

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    Imagine if the kid stayed healthy.

    And wow, Randy Moss was absolutely unstoppable when he first entered this league. I still remember throwing things at the TV when Greg Ellis' name came up.
  3. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    The number that jumps out is the touchdowns. Dallas has not gotten into the red zone often during Dez's three years. For example, the Patriots have averaged about 25 more red zone trips per season than the Cowboys over the last three years. (Imagine what Dez could have done with 75 more red zone opportunities.) Dez has seen the end zone alot, without much action in the red zone.

    In 2012, he ranked 3rd in receiving TD, but only 17th in red zone receptions. No other receiver with 10+ TD came close to this sort of disparity.
    Receiver, TD rec (RZ rec) 2012
    Jones GB 14 (14)
    Decker Den 13 (16)
    Bryant Dal 12 (9)
    Green Cin 11 (11)
    Gronkowski 11 (10)
    Marshall Chi 11 (13)
    Colston NO 10 (16)
    Cruz NYG 10 (10)
    Jones Atl 10 (11)
    Thomas Den 10 (9)

    Think about what kind of numbers Dez could put up if he were better in the red zone, and Cowboys were better at getting there. And think of what it would do for the team.
  4. Ntegrase96

    Ntegrase96 Well-Known Member

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    This is mostly due to the TD requirement which is possibly a bit more fascinating that no one is hitting that plateau consistently through the first 3 years.

    Hakeem Nicks and Colston came close through their first 3 seasons though

    Nicks: 202 rec 3034 yds 24TDs
    Colston: 215 rec 3000 yds 24TDs

    It's important to note that both WRs missed about 6-7 games over their first 3 years.

    And then there are the guys that will seemingly break into that category based on current trends. The following guys will only need these numbers to be in the same category...

    Julio Jones: 17 rec, 343 yds, 7tds
    AJ Green: 0 rec 93 yds 7tds
    Victor Cruz*: 0 rec 0 yds 6tds

    *cruz is technically entering his 4th year, but missed virtually his entire rookie season.

    Based on their averages this is roughly how it should look...

    Julio Jones: 200 rec 3,236yds 27tds
    AJ Green: 243 rec 3,610yds 27tds
    Victor Cruz: 252 rec 3,942yds 29tds

    Of course, anything could happen next year but, barring injury, I think Jones and AJ will probably be on target with their projections, if not better. I don't feel the same about Cruz.
  5. Future

    Future Intramural Legend

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    If we are giving Cruz an extra year, we should give Dez some extra games too b/c he missed some games and had to play some with Kitna lol
    perrykemp likes this.
  6. Ntegrase96

    Ntegrase96 Well-Known Member

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    I'm anti cruz, so I'm for that.
  7. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    Ntegrase96, good research. Yes, it is mostly about the TD.

    Dez played in 43 games, Colston 40, and Nicks 42. Not much disparity there, but there has been a big difference with regard to scoring opportunities. Nicks and Colston had fewer TD than Dez, despite having about 20 more red zone possessions each.

    Red Zone Possessions (avg rank during player's first 3 years)
    Colston - Saints 9th
    Hicks - Giants 9th
    Bryant - Cowboys 17th
  8. ABQcowboyJR

    ABQcowboyJR Well-Known Member

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    It would be nice to see how many passes were thrown to each player in that time frame. Would make a nice stat, yds or TDs per attempted pass. Might be a little more insightful.
  9. Future

    Future Intramural Legend

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    Not to mention the fact that Tony is terrible at throwing the fade, and we never call it anyways.
  10. iceman117

    iceman117 Active Member

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    That's impressive because Dez was not completely healthy his first two season
  11. Teren_Kanan

    Teren_Kanan Well-Known Member

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    Certainly is impressive, but I'd be more interested in seeing how he ranks up vs current starting WR's over their first 3 years.
  12. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I think Dez is just now starting to come into his own, the 1st 3 season he has had to deal with injury and the lack of knowledge of the playbook. Dez really started looking like the light came on over the 2nd half of the season and based on reports this off season he has really worked hard on understanding the routs and the offense. I think he can become a HOF type player as long as he continues to push himself.
  13. Clove

    Clove Shrinkage

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    I still do actually.
  14. Ntegrase96

    Ntegrase96 Well-Known Member

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    It would be very tough to find for the 'all-time' guys since targets have only recently been recorded-- I don't even think its an official stat really.

    But here's the scoop on his peers that I just mentioned above, plus one more just for kicks.

    Nicks: 337 targets, 202 rec, 3034 yds, 24 tds
    Colston: 348 targets, 215 rec, 3000 yds, 24 tds
    Bryant: 313 targets, 200 rec, 2871 yds, 27 tds
    Megatron: 382 targets, 193 rec, 3071 yds, 21 tds

    Which of course I went ahead and translated to averages and percentages

    Nicks: 9.00 yds/tgt, 15.01 yds/catch, 7.12% of tgts for TDs, 11.88% of catches for TDs
    Colston: 8.62 yds/tgt, 13.95 yds/catch, 6.89% of tgts for TDs, 11.16% of catches for TDs
    Bryant: 9.17 yds/tgt, 14.36 yds/catch, 8.65% of tgts for TDs, 13.5% of catches for TDs
    Megatron: 8.04 yds/tgt, 15.91 yds/catch, 5.5% of tgts for TDs, 10.88% of catches for TDs

    So as you can see, Dez kind of dominates the averages. It's not necessarily a very conclusive study-- you can't say conclusively that he makes more of his opportunities than the others I've compared him with. But it lends some insight.
  15. ufcrules1

    ufcrules1 Well-Known Member

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    Randy Moss's numbers are mind blowing.
  16. Ntegrase96

    Ntegrase96 Well-Known Member

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    And lastly, I often hear Bryant being knocked for 'not running the right route' and causing ints because of it.

    Without knowing the playbook, this is still hard to quantify, but comparing him to the NFCE's 'other 88' sheds a little bit of light on the situation.

    Over the 1st 3 years of their respective careers:
    Bryant: 1 int every 45 targets
    Nicks: 1 int every 26 targets

    And contrast that with...

    Bryant: 1 TD every 11.5 targets

    And it's easy to see the reward of lofting the ball up for Bryant far outweighs the risk.
    Idgit likes this.
  17. 5Stars

    5Stars Here comes the Sun...

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    Well, I don't know how he did it because Romo sux...so I have heard.

    Dez does not do what he had done without Romo, and Dez and Romo cannot win games all by their bad self. If Dez had been playing with Sanchez I doubt he has the same numbers. That is why a TEAM is dynamic, and not every player is going to be the same player on a different team, and why a mediocre player may leave a team to go to another and have a better career.

    Now, I'm not turning this into a Romo thread, but I am simply stating that perhaps Dez would do worse or better with a different team, but what he has done with this team so far is amazing for as young as he is!
  18. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    Statisticians only woke up to the idea of keeping track of targets in the 90s or so, and even later on TD/INT per target. It would be really cool to have receiver ratings from the 60s.

    You won't find career receiver ratings anywhere, yet. But the raw data is there for the last five seasons, for whomever is interested in making a list.
    Here's how Dez ranks compared to his contemporaries. (those who entered the NFL since after the 2007 season). The passer rating on Dez's targets leads that of all wide receivers targeted.

    I set minimums at 120 catches, 2100 yards, 17 TD for the player's first three years:

    Bryant, DAL 200 of 308 for 2871 yds 27 td 7 int 114.8
    Wallace PIT 171 of 277 for 3206 yds 24 td 11 int 114.1
    Jones ATL 133 of 218 for 2157 yds 18 td 5 int 112.2
    Cruz NYG 168 of 258 for 2628 yds 19 td 9 int 108.8
    Maclin PHI 189 of 286 for 2596 yds 19 td 8 int 105.5
    Harvin MIN 218 of 308 for 2625 yds 17 td 11 int 100.1
    Nicks NYG 202 of 324 for 3034 yds 24 td 13 int 101.0
    Green CIN 162 of 269 for 2407 yds 18 td 10 int 96.4
    Williams TB 193 of 361 for 2731 yds 23 td 9 int 89.0
    Jackson PHI 171 of 319 for 3124 yds 17 td 13 int 88.4

    (Jackson's rating was lower than the rating of his QB. IOW, whenever he was targeted, it actually hurt his QB's rating.)

    BTW, you were asking about TD percentage. Dez's TD % leads all WR listed above at 8.77. The only other WR above 8 were Wallace at 8.67 and Jones at 8.26, which makes sense because TD% is a big part of passer rating.
    Ntegrase96 likes this.
  19. Sarge

    Sarge Red, White and brew... Staff Member

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    ...and the rules were different for Moss back then. If his first three years were with the present rules - his numbers would be even scarier. He certainly had the potential to be the best WR of all time. Some think he is - but for me, it's Rice. Having said all that - great job Dez! :)
    Trouty likes this.
  20. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    Good work, all of it.

    As you suggested above, the "Dez causes INT" talk can be put to rest. Here are the INT% for all the WR from my previous post: (lower is better, of course). And obviously, a lot of this is Romo too.

    Bryant 2.27
    Jones 2.29
    Williams 2.49
    Maclin 2.80
    Cruz 3.49
    Harvin 3.57
    Green 3.71
    Wallace 3.97
    Nicks 4.01
    Jackson 4.08

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