Dallas Cowboys: Eric Wright

Dez Bryant's impact has been limited

September, 19, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- During training camp, Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant was described as being outstanding.

Through two regular-season games, Bryant has seven catches for 102 yards, no touchdowns and two drops. His longest catch was for 38 yards, and of the 25 first downs recorded by Cowboys receivers, he's got four.

On special teams, Bryant has been bad. An expected playmaker, Bryant has just 2 return yards on four punt return attempts. In the season opener at the New York Giants, Bryant found some room down the sideline for an expected long return, but he tripped up on his own feet. In the Week 2 game, he muffed a punt, though he recovered.

To say Bryant is off to a slow start would be fair.

Wednesday morning, coach Jason Garrett didn't mention the word outstanding when talking about the third-year receiver.

"Dez is like everybody else, you just got to keep playing through the tough parts of a ballgame and of stretches of ballgames," Garrett said. "Just got to come back this week, and he's certainly a big part of what we're doing. The defensive teams that we go up against know who No. 88 is, and we certainly do too. We're going to try and help him get going and he's certainly a big part of that as well. It will be a big challenge this week against these corners."

Last week against Seattle, Bryant was stymied by press coverage. While he did get free some, he didn't have much of an impact. This Sunday, the Cowboys face Tampa Bay's Aqib Talib and Eric Wright, good cover corners who like to challenge wide receivers.

"We have a kind of offense that we can stand up here after every game -- and trust me, the Seattle game isn't a great example of this -- but you can stand up here after the Giants game and say, 'Where was this guy?' Witten only caught two balls, Ogletree caught eight," Witten said. "We believe in our offensive football that we have to use all the different weapons at our disposal and attack different ways. If you want to look at a game and say, 'This guy didn't do this,' without recognizing what maybe somebody else did, you can find something bad with our offense every week. Dez catches 10, what happened to Ogletree? That’s a philosophy you can take, but our philosophy is everyone has a role and everyone can do their job to the best of their ability."

A free agent list for the Cowboys

March, 13, 2012
At 3:01 CT the free agency period starts in the NFL.

ESPN NFL analyst Ed Werder talks about how the NFL's salary cap penalty could prevent the Cowboys from re-signing free agents, namely WR Laurent Robinson.

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With that we've got a list of potential targets for the Cowboys:
  • Brandon Carr, CB: Finished with four interceptions and 13 pass breakups for the Kansas City Chiefs.
  • Cortland Finnegan, CB: Credited with five tackles for loss and 12 pass breakups for Tennessee.
  • Richard Marshall, CB: Started nine games for Arizona last season and finished with three picks.
  • Eric Wright, CB: Ended 2011 with four interceptions and 16 pass breakups for Detroit.
  • Evan Mathis, G: Started 15 of 16 games at left guard for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011.
  • Ben Grubbs, G: A 2011 Pro Bowler from the left guard spot for Baltimore.
  • Carl Nicks, G: The premier free-agent guard on the market. Might go back to New Orleans.
  • Trai Essex, G: A backup guard for Pittsburgh who can also play a little tackle.
  • Chris Myers, C: One of the best centers in the game. Houston covets him, though.
  • David Hawthorne, ILB: A nice fit in the Cowboys' scheme. Led Seattle in total tackles.
  • Dan Connor, ILB: Finished with 75 tackles and three tackles for loss with Carolina.
  • Shaun Hill, QB: Backed up Matthew Stafford in Detroit last season.
  • Kyle Orton, QB: Cowboys tried claiming him last season, but missed. Threw 10 TD and 11 INTs last year.
  • Luke McCown, QB: Was Blaine Gabbert's backup in Jacksonville.