Five-star: Jason Garrett must help Dez Bryant

November, 23, 2011
11/23/11
9:32
AM ET

Five-star question: Why does Dez Bryant have only 11 second-half receptions this season?

The offensive coordinator's job is to get the ball in the hands of his best players.

It shouldn't matter what scheme the defense is playing. It shouldn't matter who's covering him. Sometimes, the game isn't about taking what the defense gives you, it's about taking what you want.

That's where Garrett must improve as a play-caller.

He must be more creative about finding ways to exploit the things Bryant does best and create matchups that give him an opportunity to be a difference-maker.

Garrett must get a better feel for the routes Bryant runs best and incorporate them into his second-half game plans. Bryant has been targeted just 24 times in the second half of the nine games he's played.

That's not enough opportunities for him to get the job done. He's caught only 11 of those passes, an indication the Cowboys haven't figured out how to get him the ball.

If he doesn't work well against bump-and-run, then move him to the slot or put him in motion. For an offense that has occasionally struggled to score points, especially in the red zone, it makes no sense for Bryant to regularly disappear in the second half of games.
Jean-Jacques Taylor joined ESPNDallas.com in August 2011. A native of Dallas, Taylor spent the past 20 years writing for The Dallas Morning News, where he covered high schools sports, the Texas Rangers and spent 11 seasons covering the Dallas Cowboys before becoming a general columnist in 2006.

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