Jerry Jones challenges Dez Bryant
Consider that progress.
|ESPNDallas.com's Todd Archer discusses Jerry Jones' comments on Dez Bryant and Jason Garrett and the recent developments at Cowboys OTAs. |
Jones was asked how much he thought the deep thigh bruise Bryant suffered in last season’s opener affected the dynamic young receiver last season, something Bryant mentioned as a significant issue last week. Jones acknowledged that Bryant dealt with the injury throughout the year but quickly put the onus back on Bryant.
“I don’t know that it impacted some of the things that he needs to work on, and we need to work on as a coaching staff, to get him the ball and get him into plays,” Jones said. “When he would lose concentration in the last part of the game, I don’t know if that was because of conditioning. I suspect it could’ve been.
“That’s not be critical, but I suspect that, rather (than) the injury had anything to do with that or not, those are the things that we’re working on so he can be more impactful in the latter part of the game and we can do the kinds of things we need to do to get him the ball.”
It’s a good thing that the owner/general manager is pushing Bryant to reach his potential. Bryant needs Valley Ranch authority figures challenging him on a regular basis to reach his immense potential.
But Bryant’s fourth-quarter fades were an early-season storyline that was solved throughout the course of the season. At the end of the season, he had 244 yards and two touchdowns in fourth quarters. The first quarters (330 yards, five touchdowns) were the only frames that Bryant had better production. Bryant also had a 26-yard catch to set up the winning field goal in the Cowboys’ overtime victory against the Redskins, earning praise from quarterback Tony Romo for making a smart route adjustment based on the coverage played by cornerback DeAngelo Hall.
That doesn’t mean Bryant shouldn’t get better. Much, much better.
Conditioning is certainly a part of that. Bryant readily admits that, bragging about the progress he’s seeing in his body while working with six-time Super Bowl champion strength coach Mike Woicik.
“I feel like this year, I'm spending more time focusing on my body and making sure everything is right,” said Bryant, who gloated on Twitter this week that his body fat was measured at 3.1 percent.
Bryant was pretty good last year, catching 63 passes for 928 yards and nine touchdowns in his second NFL season. It’s a testament to his talent that a lot of folks consider that underachieving.
Rest assured that Bryant has plenty of people pushing him to reach his potential, a list that includes Valley Ranch’s big boss.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Todd Archer joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Tony Romo news and what he will be watching for in OTAs.
Play Podcast Nate Newton joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his comments on how Jason Garrett should handle being on the hot seat and not let Jerry Jones get in the way.
Play Podcast Cowboys safety Barry Church joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the new defensive scheme and the impact it will have on him, how much more intense he expects practice to be with Monte Kiffin and his expectations.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Cowboys news, including Jason Garrett downplaying Tony Romo's involvement in offensive planning and play calling.
Play Podcast John Lynch joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss playing for Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli, why Cowboys fans should be excited about the new defensive staff, why Valley Ranch will no longer resemble a country club and his thoughts on the Cowboys' roster.
Play Podcast Herm Edwards joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Cowboys news and give his take on what new face will make the biggest impact for Dallas.
Play Podcast Nate Newton joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what he saw at the Cowboys' rookie minicamp and how he helped Rod Marinelli on the defensive side of the ball.
Play Podcast Todd Archer joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what he took away from the Dallas Cowboys' rookie minicamp.