Dez Bryant was an impact player for the Cowboys last season, but his stats tended to drop off later in games. That fact became a sore subject among Cowboys fans, and it resulted in criticism from a former franchise legend.
While many people including Dez believe that conditioning or injuries played a big role in the receiver’s lack of production later in games, Jerry Jones has another idea.
“I don’t know that [injuries] impacted some of the things that he needs to work on, and we need to work on as a coaching staff to get him the ball and get him into plays,” Jones said according to Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. “When he would lose concentration in the last part of the game, I don’t know if that was because of conditioning. I suspect it could’ve been. That’s not be critical, but I suspect that, rather the injury had anything to do with that or not, those are the things that we’re working on so he can be more impactful in the latter part of the game, and we can do the kinds of things we need to do to get him the ball.”
While Jones’ idea is interesting, he has to be cautious about trying to hard to get Bryant the ball. Quarterbacks are generally at their best when they’re finding the open man rather than forcing it to a specific receiver. Dez Bryant didn’t do as much late in games because he would burn teams early, and they would respond by defending him more carefully. It also didn’t help that Miles Austin got hurt, allowing defenses to focus on Bryant even more.
Being healthy will be a huge factor in Bryant’s stats and impact improving; forcing him the ball is not the answer. As long as he is healthy, Michael Irvin’s prediction could come true.Google+