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Week 1 vs. WAS
Receiving: 8 / 56 / 0 on 12 targets
This was Dez Bryant's first NFL game action since missing most of preseason with an ankle injury. Romo got Bryant involved early by making several quick throws to him out in the flat. Bryant held onto the passes but was not strong enough to break out of a couple DeAngelo Hall tackles. Bryant was also on the field as the Cowboys punt returner but did not have much opportunity to do anything. Romo targeted Bryant deep in double coverage and relied on Bryant throughout the game especially during the game ending drive.
Week 2 vs. CHI
Receiving: 2 / 52 / 0 on 2 targets
Bryant looked very comfortable in the Dallas offense on Sunday against the Bears. His first touch was on a punt return that he returned for a touchdown. Bryant field the ball on the Dallas 38 yard line, hesitated a moment while his blocks developed, and then dashed through a seam to the left side of the field before speeding up the sideline for a touchdown. Bryant also caught two balls as the Cowboys third wide receiver. Noticeable on Sunday was Bryant's ability to get to top speed quickly, not just on the punt return but on his routes as well. Bryant runs with a head of steam and shows that once he gets off the line of scrimmage he is a load to handle. The Cowboys are likely to utilize Bryant even more between the twenties as his size and speed create matchup problems for the opposition's nickel corner. Dez was only called on to run a handful of different routes Sunday, including deep slants and out patterns. While his cuts aren't nearly as sharp as Miles Austin, Bryant does sink in to his cuts well and seems to have the footwork of an experience receiver already.
Week 3 vs. HOU
Receiving: 4 / 50 / 0 on 6 targets
Dez Bryant continues to grow in to being a star receiver right in front of Cowboys' fans' eyes. He was spectacular again on Sunday against the Texans and appears more and more comfortable with the Dallas offense as the weeks pass. He had two fantastic catches against Houston on successive plays in the second quarter. On the first, he caught a deep pass from Tony Romo down the right sideline despite being interfered with by the Texan defender (the penalty, however, was not called). On the very next play, Bryant caught a hard pass in traffic for a ten yard gain and a first down, helping extend the drive that would result in the Cowboys first touchdown. Bryant gets up to speed quickly and his size poses substantial trouble for smaller cornerbacks. Bryant isn't as quick as he is fast, but his route-running is that of a veteran and his hands have been very impressive to date. Bryant looks very similar to former Cowboys' receiver Terrell Owens in his ability to get off the line of scrimmage and get to his spot quickly, regardless of the route he is asked to run.
Week 5 vs. TEN
Receiving: 3 / 22 / 0 on 6 targets
Bryant was used as the team's third receiver in three wide sets and as the team's fourth receiver in sets that featured Jason Witten split out as a receiver. He finished the day with three short receptions on bubble screens and quick slants. Bryant did tweak his ankle again and left the game in the second quarter. He did, however, return and does not appear to be significantly injured or a threat to miss time due to injury in the coming weeks.
Week 6 vs. MIN
Receiving: 1 / 31 / 1 on 3 targets
Bryant was quiet for most of the game, but was a big part of the Dallas 4th quarter. His first target and reception was also his first professional TD catch --- a 31 yard reception early in the 4th quarter. The route was basically a go route, and Bryant just blew by CB Lito Sheppard. Sheppard tried to make a play on the ball, but Bryant stayed focused and caught the tip for his first career TD reception. It turned out to be his only catch of the day. Bryant also had a nice 34 yard punt return on the next series, but it was called back due to a holding call. Bryant remains the #3 receiver on the team, and with the fierce play of Roy Williams the last few games, it looks like Bryant will remain the #3 option.
Week 7 vs. NYG
Receiving: 4 / 54 / 2 on 7 targets
Bryant was one of the only bright spots on an otherwise terrible day for Dallas. He scored a touchdown after fielding a deep punt, slipping a tackle taking it straight up the middle for 93 yards. He showed his playmaking ability whenever he touched the ball by breaking tackles and getting extra yards. His first receiving touchdown came in garbage time with 3 minutes left on a short a pass that he took around two Giants defenders into the end zone. His second receiving touchdown came with less than a minute left on a short pass that he caught in stride and ran by the Giants defense 15 yards into the end zone.
Week 8 vs. JAX
Receiving: 7 / 84 / 0 on 9 targets
One silver lining in the Cowboys offensive struggles has been the emergence of Dez Bryant as a playmaker. Bryant is clearly in the mold of Brandon Marshall or Terrell Owens in the sense that he can make plays with his abilities and size with and without the ball. His best catch came on a diving sideline grab that saw him get one elbow and one foot down inbounds to pick up a key first down as the first half wound down. Unfortunately, the Cowboys could not convert the drive in to any points and went to halftime down 14-3. Otherwise, Bryant was all over the field catching out routes, crossing patterns, and hitches. Quarterback Jon Kitna's confidence in Bryant appeared to grow as the game went on as well, most evident in the fact that Bryant was targeted 4 times in the second half on critical down-and-distance situations.
Week 9 vs. GB
Receiving: 9 / 86 / 1 on 10 targets
Bryant continues to be the lone bright spot for the Dallas Cowboys on their abomination of a season. In week 9 Bryant was Jon Kitna's go to WR and which helped Dez reach career highs in targets, receptions, and yards (also adding a TD). He was effective all over the field and continues to show terrific hands and dangerous run after the catch abilities. He may end up being one of the top WR's to own during the 2nd half of this season.
Week 10 vs. NYG
Receiving: 3 / 104 / 1 on 5 targets
Dez Bryant continues to develop as a game changing receiver. He had an excellent day against the Giants and was clearly one of Jon Kitna's favorite targets on critical downs. On one two play sequence, Bryant appeared simply uncoverable. On the first play, Bryant streaked down the left sideline and made a tough catch in tough coverage for a 44 yard gain. On the next play, Bryant caught the ball right at the goalline, bobbled it while diving, and brought it in for a clear catch and touchdown. The play was initially ruled an incompletion but was a clear touchdown upon review, giving the Cowboys a lead they would never relinquish. Bryant is primarily being lined up on the left side and running routes between the hashmark and the sideline.
Week 11 vs. DET
Receiving: 3 / 8 / 1 on 4 targets
Despite only having three catches, Dez Bryant continues to impress. He appears to be Jon Kitna's preferred target outside the hashmarks and he is making the most of those opportunities. Bryant had two impressive catches in a row on the Cowboys first drive Sunday. On the first, he caught an errant Kitna throw with one hand, shoved a defender off of him, and turned upfield for a short gain. Later in the drive, he lined up split to the right and caught a quick outside slant for a touchdown over the outstretched arms of the defender. Bryant is improving with each week and shows the ability to make tough catches all over the field regardless of coverage. He is getting better at using his body to shield defenders and his excellent hands have been on display in the last three weeks.
Week 12 vs. NO
Rushing: 1 / 0 / 0
Receiving: 0 / 0 / 0 on 6 targets
The Saints considered Bryant to be the #1 threat at WR from the Cowboys and built their defensive game plan around limiting his impact on the game. It worked perfectly and Bryant finished the game without a reception. As the game wore on, Bryant became visibly frustrated on the sidelines and the coaching staff had to calm him down. Bryant had just one carry on an end around in the 1st quarter while Miles Austin was in the locker room having an X-Ray on his forearm. Bryant looked uncomfortable on the play and fumbled the ball after taking the hand off. He was able to recover it and get back to the line, but the play resulted in no gain. Bryant was targeted on several passes late in the game, but one was thrown behind him, one came up short and one was batted down at the line incomplete.
Week 13 vs. IND
Receiving: 1 / 14 / 0 on 3 targets
Despite showing drastic improvement throughout the season, Bryant was relatively quiet against the Colts. He did have one reception on a short pattern to the right side of the field, but otherwise rotated with Roy Williams in the WR2 position. Williams actually spent more time on the field then Bryant as the Cowboys established the run and utilized Williams' superior blocking talents to the outside. Unfortunately, Bryant broke his ankle when tackled on a kick return in the fourth quarter and appears to be lost for the season.