- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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So Dez Bryant has settled on an agent, leaving Eugene Parker and hiring Roc Nation. The Dallas Cowboys' wide receiver who suspended contract talks with the team before the season started, now wants them to resume again with his new agent.
While Bryant has finalized his business off the field, his on-the-field actions need some work.
Against Arizona he finished with just two catches for 15 yards and one touchdown. Both catches came in the fourth quarter and out of his 55 offensive snaps, a majority of the time he was covered by cornerback Patrick Peterson one-on-one.
"Played great," Bryant said of Peterson. "I'm a physical guy and they came out and did an outstanding job. We were a little bit powerless."
Arizona played single-high coverage, designed to stop the run which meant Bryant had his chances to make plays one-on-one. He was targeted 10 times, the fifth time this season he was thrown to in double-digits, but he produced just two catches. He also had two plays where he could have made catches but could have been considered drops.
It was Bryant's fewest catches when targeted more than 10 times in his career.
Bryant is an excellent receiver but he might have been impacted by backup quarterback Brandon Weeden and Peterson's efforts.
"Without question I missed him (quarterback Tony Romo), but I believe in Weeden, too," Bryant said. "But things didn't go our way. We’ve got to go back to the drawing board and try to fix what we need to fix."
There was frustration in Bryant on Sunday, which is understandable given the amount of pressure on him to produce in the Cowboys' passing attack. Bryant does need to win his one-on-one battles more and that means being more physical when defenders jam him at the line of scrimmage and run precise routes to become a better target.
Bryant has improved as a route runner during his career and his command of the offense isn't an issue like it was his rookie season. Getting him on the move, in the slot running slants or the back shoulder fade routes are positive plays for Bryant. Arizona didn't pressure Weeden like they did Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles last week.
Yet, Weeden looked out of sorts when throwing to Bryant.
Maybe it was a chemistry deal, but Weeden is able to work with the first team in practice once a week as Romo rests his back. Romo could return for the Jacksonville game on Sunday in London. Romo playfully threw some passes to school-aged kids on Tuesday in London as part of a NFL Play 60 event. So maybe, Bryant gets his quarterback back.
"Across the board we're going to get it right," Bryant said. "I know we are."