Tim Twentyman draws his own conclusion from a Calvin Johnson-Dez Bryant comparison

Posted Oct 23, 2013

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant's comments earlier in the week that he could do whatever Calvin Johnson could do have sparked numerous debates throughout NFL media

Calvin JohnsonWR Calvin Johnson (Photo: AP Images)

There have been a lot of comparisons the last couple days of Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant in light of Sunday's matchup between the Cowboys and Lions at Ford Field.

The talk grew loud after Bryant made comments that he could do anything on a football field Johnson could do.

In truth, it probably would have been a bigger story if Bryant hadn't made a confident statement about his ability when asked the question.

"He's a talented player," Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said of Bryant. "You want players to have confidence. I think he's that way. I'll respect him for that."

Bryant said in a conference call Wednesday that Johnson set the bar high for every receiver last year when he broke Jerry Rice's record for yards in a season with 1,964.

ESPN recently did a comparison of the first 50 NFL games by both Bryant and Johnson.

Bryant has 242 catches for 3,440 yards and 33 touchdowns

Johnson totaled 217 catches for 3,362 yards and 25 touchdowns.

This comparison isn't apples-to-apples, though.

Bryant was afforded the stability of a regular starting quarterback in Tony Romo early in his career while Johnson played with six different quarterbacks -- Jon Kitna, J.T. O'Sullivan, Dan Orlovsky, Daunte Culpepper, Drew Stanton and Drew Henson -- his first two seasons.

Coincidentally, Johnson played his 50th career game with Matthew Stafford -- his starting quarterback for the majority of the last four-plus seasons -- last week vs. Cincinnati. Over that span, he has 303 catches for 4,908 yards and 33 touchdowns. That's an average of 6.1 receptions per game for 98.2 yards.

Bryant has played 44 career games with Romo. He's averaging 4.8 receptions and 68.8 yards in those contests with 28 touchdowns.

The bottom line: when looking at Johnson's numbers paired with a dynamic thrower in Stafford, his catches and yards stand above Bryant's.