The Dallas Cowboys might be forced to make a difficult decision on wide receiver Dez Bryant this offseason, but he was still able to cement his place in team history on Thursday night against the Washington Redskins.
Early in the fourth quarter, Bryant made a vintage play, going up and over a Redskins defender for a touchdown catch to give the Cowboys a 24-7 lead en route to a 38-14 victory. It was his 72nd career touchdown reception and he moved into first place in Cowboys history ahead of Bob Hayes.
Hayes made 71 touchdown catches with the Cowboys in 10 seasons with the franchise from 1965-1974. His 20-yard average per catch over the course of his career ranks sixth in NFL history among qualifying receivers.
Bryant, on the other hand, has managed to get his 72 touchdowns in just his eighth season. And if the Cowboys are going to have any chance of clinging to playoff life while awaiting the return of running back Ezekiel Elliott, they’ll need a few more before the season is over.
Unfortunately, Bryant hasn’t been very productive since signing a five-year, $70 contract before the 2015 season. Injuries hampered the dynamic talent in 2015 and 2016, but he’s been healthy and not too explosive through the first 11 games of 2017.
However, he certainly looked good going up to get that record-setting touchdown on Thursday and finished with 5 catches for 61 yards and the score. If he can start making plays like that a little more consistently, perhaps he can still prove that he’s worth the $16.5 million of cap space he’ll take up in 2018.