5 Things to Know About Dez Bryant and “Bullet” Bob Hayes

by | Dec 4, 2017 | Articles, The League, The Team

Dez Bryant’s 13-yard touchdown catch in the 4th quarter of the Cowboys’ 38-14 win over the Redskins on Thursday Night Football moved him into sole possession of 1st place on the Cowboys’ All-Time Touchdown Receptions list. Dez (72) now has one more touchdown catch than Hall of Famer “Bullet” Bob Hayes who totaled 71 in his 10 seasons in Dallas.

Dez and “Bullet” Bob are two of the most prolific scorers in team history, so let’s compare/contrast their Cowboys’ careers. Here are ‘5 Things to Know about Dez & Bullet Bob’:

AP Photo

01.

“Bullet” Bob Hayes’ game was built on speed

After all, he was literally known as “The World’s Fastest Man” after winning two gold medals in the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Hayes won gold in the 100-meter dash and the 4x100-meter relay on which he ran the anchor leg.

But “Bullet” Bob was not just a track star-turned-football player. He was a football player who ran fast. He played college football, as well as starred in track and field, at Florida A&M University.

Dez’s game is built on strength and power, not speed. Dez will out-muscle, not out-run, defensive backs. The touchdown catch in which he broke the tie with Hayes was vintage Dez: outjumping and being more physical than the cornerback in the end zone on a fade route.

02.

Dez & Bullet Bob Had Very Different Roads to Dallas

Dez was a Cowboys’ 1st round draft pick in 2010. The Cowboys traded up with the Patriots, from #27 to #24 overall, to nab Dez.

James D. Smith via AP

Bullet Bob was a 7th round pick in 1964. The Cowboys actually used a future draft pick, which basically meant they drafted him before his college eligibility was completed. The team’s hope was that, after the Summer Olympics, he would come to training camp and begin a pro football career. The draft gamble paid off. He joined the team in 1965 and scored 12 touchdowns and topped 1,000 receiving yards in his rookie season.

By the way, Bob Hayes was not the only future Hall of Fame player the Cowboys drafted in 1964. Defensive back Mel Renfro was a 2nd rounder that year. And a Heisman Trophy winner from Navy, some dude named Roger Staubach, was the 10th rounder. The selections of Hayes (because of his track/Olympic commitments) and Staubach (military service/Navy) were risks that paid handsome rewards.

James D. Smith via AP

03.

Dez is actually faster to the Cowboys’ All-Time TD record than the Bullet

Dez’s 72nd career touchdown catch came in his 109th career game. Bullet Bob (1965-1974) totaled 71 touchdown catches in 128 career games.

AP Photo

04.

Bullet Bob is credited with changing the way NFL defenses play football

Because of his blinding speed, defensive backs couldn’t hang with him downfield. So defensive coaches came up with the idea of playing zone because defenders couldn’t matchup man-to-man. Cornerbacks also started playing bump-and-run in an attempt to slow him down when he took off from the line of scrimmage.

Whatever defenders tried to do, it didn’t slow him down too much. He finished his career with an average of 20.0 yards-per-catch!!! Dez’s career average-per-catch is 14.0. They are different types of receivers. Bullet Bob’s speed made him the downfield threat. Dez’s strength & power make him the ideal target in the red zone.

05.

Dez and Bullet Bob also scored on punt returns

In addition to combining for 143 touchdown catches, Dez and Bullet Bob have a combined 5 punt return TDs. Bullet Bob had 3 scores and averaged 11.1 yards on 1,158 career punt returns. Dez has 2 TDs in only 42 career punt returns. Dez has not returned a punt since the 2012 season, but he did score twice on returns in his rookie season in 2010.

James D. Smith via AP