- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas -- The dude has flaws, but Dez Bryant is not a diva receiver.
Diva receivers believe that it’s the quarterback’s job to get them the ball. Bryant has the opposite outlook.
Bryant goes to work every day with a genuine goal of earning a little more trust from Tony Romo.
“As wideouts, it’s our job to try our best to impress the quarterback, the head coach, the offensive coordinator, our wide receivers coach to show them that we’re good enough to do this job,” Bryant said. “The main thing is we’ve got to get the trust in Tony that we can beat this guy no matter what the situation is, [that] we can get it. We try to get that confidence so Tony will feel good throwing us the rock.”
Bryant never had to prove his physical ability to Romo, who recognized that Bryant was a rare talent from the first time they practiced together. For instance, there has never been any doubt in Romo’s mind that Bryant could go up over a cornerback in man coverage to make a play.
The trust Bryant talks about comes from proving he’s reliable -- that he’ll run the right routes, that he’ll make the right sight adjustments, that he’ll be where he’s supposed to be when he’s supposed to be there.
“He has to know that you know that,” Bryant said. “If you don’t know it, that’s where the problems come. If you do know it, then you continue to keep doing it, and it only gets better. He loves it, the coaches love it and you just build the progress and just keep going from there.”
As a rookie, Bryant was a brain fart waiting to happen. He made great mental strides as his second season progressed. There is still plenty of room for improvement.
“He has to go out there and do what he has to do on a consistent basis day in and day out, and he has to earn that trust,” coach Jason Garrett said. “There’s a lot of trust that he’s earned already in his career. He’s done a lot of good things in Year 1 and Year 2 of his career, but he has to take the next step.
“He’s going about it the right way in the offseason program. It’s a work in progress for everybody. Quarterbacks and receivers, the best ones I’ve been around, they could play together for eight, nine, 10 years and they’re still working and refining and getting better. That’s the progress he and Tony are going through right now.”
Romo, who had a relationship spoil with the ultimate diva receiver early in his tenure as a starter, greatly appreciates Bryant’s attitude. Romo praises Bryant’s work ethic and points out the progress that the young receiver has made ... while keeping the carrot out in front of Bryant.
“He’s just got to continue to work his butt off,” Romo said recently. “He’s just going to get better and better every year.”
So will their quarterback-receiver relationship.