IRVING, Texas – Dez Bryant is living in a new world, according to Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. That world is one in which he is constantly double-teamed by opponents.
Bryant’s first entry into his new world was Sunday night when the New York Giants took him out of the action, for the most part, by constantly having a safety cover him in addition to a cornerback.
“He got a lot of attention from their defense,” Garrett said. “He has to understand that, that’s the world he’s going to live in for the rest of his career, and the really good players have to understand that.”
After a spectacular second half of the 2012 season and a promising preseason, Bryant was expected to get off to an explosive start to 2013. That didn’t happen.
With constant bracketing by the Giants’ secondary, Bryant was held to just four receptions for 22 yards. His longest catch was a mere seven yards.
While the coverage left Miles Austin (10 catches) and tight end Jason Witten (8 catches), Garrett said Bryant can’t allow himself to be taken out of games. That’s what the great ones do when blanketed by a defense.
“They just have to keep fighting through it,” Garrett said. “I thought from an emotional standpoint he handled it well. He kept battling, he kept trying to give Tony chances to throw him the football. We tried to do a couple of things to give him a chance to get free and get away from those guys.”
The Dallas offense may get more creative to free up Bryant, but he may have to play the role of decoy against this week at Kansas City because of a sprained foot.
Bryant suffered the injury against the Giants and was able to return to the game. Both Garrett and owner Jerry Jones indicated the injury probably won’t keep Bryant from playing Sunday but it will be monitored closely.