Monday, December 24, 2012
Dez Bryant 'frustrated' after big day
By Tim MacMahon
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Dez Bryant didn't have a whole lot to say after the best statistical day of his career.
The Cowboys receiver took no satisfaction in catching nine passes for a career-best 224 yards and a pair of 58-yard touchdowns. Not after a 34-31 overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints.
"I ain't got nothing," Bryant said as he walked briskly out of the locker room to an elevator Sunday. "I'm speechless, man."
The Saints simply couldn't stop Bryant in the first half, when he had five catches for 145 yards, matching his career high. He burned cornerback Patrick Robinson twice for big plays, beating him on a deep ball for his first touchdown and breaking two tackles after catching a slant for his second score.
"He did a really good job in the first half when he was isolated, just cashing in for some big plays," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said.
But Bryant was shut out in the third quarter, when he was targeted only once. He caught four balls for 79 yards to help the Cowboys make a furious comeback in the fourth, but he didn't get his hands on the ball when Tony Romo threw a slant to him on third-and-5 in overtime.
"We like that matchup," said Romo, who tried to pick on Robinson one more time with that third-down throw in overtime. "l told Dez he just needed to keep running in there and he was going to get a contested throw and catch."
There's a long list of impressive numbers produced by Bryant:
• His 224 receiving yards against the Saints are the fourth most in franchise history.
• He has touchdown catches in seven straight games, matching the club record held by Frank Clarke, Bob Hayes and Terrell Owens.
• Bryant leads the NFL with 10 touchdown catches in the last seven games, producing 808 yards on 46 catches in that span.
• Bryant has blown away his previous career highs with 1,311 receiving yards and 12 touchdown catches this season, which rank seventh and tied for fifth in franchise history, respectively.
Bryant wasn't the only player disheartened by Sunday's loss.
"It's about winning and losing," said Romo, who threw for 416 yards and four touchdowns. "You do everything in your power to help your football team do the things that it takes to win. When you don't, you'll use the experience to do better. But as far as standing up here and feeling good, it doesn't (feel good).
"When you lose in the NFL, especially when you play this position, it's just a very empty feeling."
It was the fourth time that Romo has thrown for more than 400 yards during his career. The Cowboys are 0-4 in those games. None of those numbers mattered to Romo or Bryant as they left Cowboys Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
"I'm frustrated," Bryant said. "I know that everybody else is, too."