- Jean-Jacques Taylor, ESPN Staff Writer
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ARLINGTON -- Dez Bryant has scored seven touchdowns in the last five games, while becoming one of the key players on the Dallas Cowboys’ offense.
Bryant, ridiculed and criticized early in the season for running poor routes and making mental mistakes, is so important that he’s put off having his broken left index finger surgically repaired so he won’t miss the rest of the season.
Coach Jason Garrett’s task is to make sure Bryant isn’t wasted in the offense Sunday against Pittsburgh.
If Bryant plays, as expected, then Garrett should make it a point to get him involved early to let the Steelers know Bryant isn’t a decoy and to take advantage of his big-play ability.
Bryant has scored touchdowns on receptions of 28, 85, 23 and 27 during the past few weeks.
That said, the worst thing you can do as a coach is build a game plan around an injured player and have him leave the game early because he aggravated the injury. Obviously, a finger is important to a receiver, so it’ll be interesting to see of Bryant has to adjust the way he catches the ball and if that affects the way routes he runs.
For example, if he’s running under deep balls those will be easier to catch than if he he‘s trying to catch a ball across the middle with his hands.
Garrett must figure out the right balance of incorporating Bryant into the offense today. If he can, the Cowboys will have their first three-game win streak of the season.