Friday, November 23, 2012
Bright spot Dez Bryant delivers another career day
By Tim MacMahon
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Dez Bryant keeps getting better. That’s the biggest bright spot for the 5-6 Cowboys.
Bryant blew up for 145 yards and two touchdowns on eight catches in Thursday’s loss to the Redskins. He matched his career high for yardage set five days ago in the overtime win over the Browns -- his fourth 100-yard game in the last eight weeks -- and also equaled his career best for touchdowns.
The outing continued a trend of terrific performances for Bryant, the third-year receiver who is finally approaching his immense potential. He has 20 catches for 377 yards and four touchdowns in the last three games.
"Like I said, I feel like I'm Dez,” said Bryant, who ranks seventh in the league in receptions (65), ninth in yards (880) and 13th in touchdown catches (six). “It's going to stay that way.”
But Bryant’s 85-yard touchdown catch-and-run and his 11-yard score on a back-shoulder fade weren’t the plays on his mind as he walked out of Cowboys Stadium after the loss. He was thinking about his lost fumble in the first half – a “lucky” play for the Redskins, he called it -- and the deep ball he couldn’t hang on to in the end zone with about a minute remaining.
Bryant gave Redskins safety Madieu Williams credit for delivering a hit that jarred the ball loose after he soared over cornerback Josh Wilson to make what briefly looked like a leaping touchdown catch.
"I was really, really, really, really pissed, but I didn't see that guy coming,” Bryant said. “He made a good play. As I was getting ready to bring the ball in to secure it, he hit me underneath the chin. I was hoping the refs seen it. But, hey, he didn't. If I would have seen that guy coming, I would have adjusted myself to make that play."
Bryant’s performance wasn’t enough to extend the Cowboys’ winning streak to three games. After this loss, they’re sitting at 5-6, making them a playoffs long shot.
But Bryant still believes in these Cowboys.
“We're not going to quit,” Bryant said. “I think it's a special group. I know it's not showing by our record, but we're fighting hard.”
At least Bryant is getting results. The Cowboys need him to keep dominating to have any real hope of getting past the regular season.