Dominant Dez Bryant: 'I feel great'
November, 18, 2012
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- No drama, just dominance. That’s been Dez Bryant the last couple of weeks.
The Cowboys don’t want to get too far ahead of themselves, but there’s plenty of reason to believe that Bryant is developing into the dynamic go-to guy they considered worth the gamble in the first round of the 2010 draft despite his off-field baggage.
Nobody has been better than Bryant during the Cowboys’ two-game winning streak. He followed up a three-catch, 87-yard, one-touchdown outing against the Eagles last week by catching 12 passes for a career-high 145 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s victory over the Browns.
It’s been a great two weeks for Bryant, especially considering that he settled his legal issues days ago, getting a slap on the wrist with a conditional dismissal of his Class A misdemeanor family violence case that stemmed from a confrontation with his mother.
All Bryant wants to do is focus on football. The recent results have been fantastic for the Cowboys’ third-year receiver.
“I told you I feel like me,” Bryant said, referencing comments he made a few weeks ago. “I feel like Dez. I’ve got a lot of stuff behind me -- I don’t want to jump into it -- and I feel great.”
The numbers have been impressive for Bryant over a seven-game span, during which he has 44 receptions for 571 yards and four touchdowns. However, a few of his best statistical outings were overshadowed by killer mistakes, such as critical drops and a couple of busted routes that resulted in interceptions.
Bryant’s performances the last two weeks have been clean. He’s made game-changing plays, not mistakes.
“I just feel like it’s me being on top of my stuff,” Bryant said. “Coach stays on me all the time and I love it. I don’t get down. I take it all in. I really take it to heart. I just want to do everything right that they tell me. I feel like I’ve got a big part to do.”
Bryant especially did his part in the second half Sunday, when the Cowboys rallied from a 13-point deficit. Bryant had nine catches for 120 yards and a touchdown after halftime and also drew a couple of defensive holding calls. He feasted on a banged-up Cleveland secondary until the Browns committed a safety to help the cornerback against him every play.
“It’s really good to see Dez,” owner/general manager Jerry Jones said. “We’ve known that he’s a player if we can get him going. Even though you say, ‘Well, he gets lost in the second half sometimes.’ I’ve heard that criticism and would join in with that criticism. But we’ve always known that if you can get him going, get him hot, get him catching some balls that he could really catch fire.
“And I think we had some of that.”
The challenge for Bryant now: Keep these kinds of performances coming.