Dez Bryant sees difference in these Cowboys

IRVING, Texas -- In 2011, the Dallas Cowboys were 7-4 entering December and closed with a 1-4 record. In 2013, they were 7-5 entering December and closed with a 1-3 finish.

The Cowboys enter this December at 8-4.

Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant does not know if the results will be different this year.

“But I can say the feeling is a lot different,” Bryant said. “This is the beginning for us. The beginning of December for us. So we’ll see. We’re excited about the work that we’ve put in, and we can only go from there.”

Throughout the week, coach Jason Garrett and several players, including Tony Romo, have said this is a new team and a new year. What’s the difference Bryant sees?

“Our approach,” Bryant said. “Everybody wants to get better. Just by the little things. Not making the cold weather a big issue. Just go out there and understand what’s important. That’s the opportunity that we have to go out and get into the playoffs.”

Thirty-five of the 53 players on the current roster were around for last year’s finish if Anthony Spencer and Tyrone Crawford are included in the mix since they were on injured reserve last year.

The Cowboys have not made the playoffs since 2009, the year before Bryant arrived. They have finished 8-8 the past three years, losing Week 17 finales to keep them out of the postseason each time. The eight wins have guaranteed the Cowboys only the chance to be in the playoff race, nothing more.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Bryant said. “It’s a great opportunity to get to where we want to go. I think we all understand that. We’re just going to continue keep working hard and try to get better and win out in December.”