Cowboys need Dez Bryant at Carolina
|Drew Pearson diagnoses Dez Bryant's lingering groin injury and conveys the must-win nature of this Sunday's game. |
The Cowboys need Bryant for Sunday's game. If Bryant isn't available, the chances of Kevin Ogletree duplicating what he did in the season opener at the New York Giants (eight catches for 114 yards with two touchdowns) are low.
Ogletree has just nine catches since the season opener. Miles Austin is also available to possibly save the day, but he's been inconsistent. And while he does have a 100 yard game (107 on five catches Sept. 23 against Tampa Bay), Austin hasn't dominated any games.
At the start of the season, I said Austin was the Cowboys' best receiver and I still believe that, but over the last two games, Bryant has been the hottest.
Bryant has 21 catches for 200 yards and two touchdowns the last two games. The Cowboys can't afford to miss Bryant because he's their most physical and productive receiver.
Quarterback Tony Romo trusts Bryant, not more than Jason Witten or Austin, but he's targeted Bryant 48 times for a 70.8 percent completion rate, making Bryant a go-to receiver.
"He’s getting better and better," Romo said. "I said this a while ago, he just continues to grow each year, each week and each month through the experiences of the game and things of that nature. He continues to become a better receiver, and he’s continuing to work at it really hard and he’s continuing to get better."
Sunday afternoon, if the Cowboys get outside linebacker Anthony Spencer back from a pectoral muscle strain, it will be a boost to the defense. But if Bryant isn't around, things will get a little tricky for the Cowboys offense.
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Play Podcast ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Jerry Jones' recent comments, Cowboys OTAs, Dez Bryant and more.
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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.
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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.