Bryant: Not at my best, but I'm progressing

Bryant: Not at my best, but I'm progressing

Published Jun. 6, 2012 8:07 p.m. ET

IRVING , Texas -- While speaking with a large group of media members last week at Cowboys Stadium, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones hinted that it was more than just injuries that held Dez Bryant back during his second NFL season.

Jones was responding to Bryant's comments that while watching game film last month, he "wasn't really too proud" of how he played. The Cowboys wide receiver then said that injuries limited him and that he was never 100 percent after suffering a deep thigh bruise in the season opener, which caused him to miss a Week 2 game in San Francisco.

"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. "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."

What did Bryant think of his owner's words?

"I don't want to say that I was in horrible shape but I feel like I wasn't at my best," Bryant said. "I feel like now I'm still not at my best, but it's way more better than last year and I feel like I'm still progressing and just doing my best."

Through the first five games of the 2011 season, Bryant only caught two passes after halftime. And despite improving in all major statistical categories from his rookie season, Bryant, who finished with 63 catches for 928 yards and nine touchdowns, failed to record a 100-yard game.

Will Bryant's third NFL season be his breakout campaign? It was for receivers like Washington's Santana Moss, Carolina's Steve Smith and Buffalo's Steve Johnson.

Judging by Bryant's comments over the last few weeks, the Cowboys' 2012 season could be highlighted by big numbers from the 23-year-old.

"I'm getting better at everything," Bryant said Wednesday. "Route running, catching the football, being more aware of everything, aware of where I am on the field, the coverages."

He added: "I feel different. I feel like I have learned a lot from all aspects, on the field, off the field. I see a lot of things more clear now. I'm more confident in everything that I do on the field and off the field. I try to make the best choices possible and I feel like I'm doing a great job of it."

Bryant was a significant part of the offense's biggest play during Wednesday's OTAs. He beat cornerback Orlando Scandrick along the left sideline, catching a long bomb from Tony Romo for a touchdown in 11-on-11 drills.

Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota