Dez Bryant: I'm trying to be the best WR in the NFL

BY foxsports • July 24, 2013

OXNARD, Calif. – Another day of Dallas Cowboys training camp meant another day of watching Dez Bryant astound with spectacular catches.

Even with starting corners Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne draped on him, the 24-year-old made diving grabs and one-handed catches look routine.

For the first time since the Cowboys arrived in Oxnard on Friday, Bryant talked to the media after Tuesday's practice. He answered a wide variety of questions, including inquiries about his golf game and the cleats he was wearing.

Oh, and his steady improvement on the field was also mentioned.

"I feel like there's always room to get better," Bryant said. "I think just by going in, getting everything I already know, cleaning it up, sharpening it up the best way I possibly can and just learning more and more the coaches give me, I feel like I'll be taking a step each and every day."

Bryant already seems to have solidified himself as one of the league's top wide receivers. After finishing the 2012 season sixth in receiving yards (1,382) and third in receiving touchdowns (12), Bryant said that 20 touchdowns and 2,000 yards is a possibility for him.

Detroit's Calvin Johnson is arguably the league's best receiver. Johnson broke Jerry Rice's single-season receiving yards record last season, racking up 1,964 yards on 122 catches.

Does Bryant believe he can top Johnson and become the best wide receiver in the NFL?

"If you're a wideout, that is supposed to be your mindset," Bryant said. "You don't want to be second. You don't want to be third. You want to be the best at what you can do. That is what I'm trying to do."

One of the aspects of Bryant's game that has improved the most since his rookie year is his route running. Since leaving Oklahoma State after the 2009 season, Bryant has always been able to rely on his elite athletic ability. But improving on the details of the game, like running better routes and having a better grasp of the playbook, is what could propel Bryant to one day claim the top spot.

"I think I've improved a lot," Bryant said of his route running. "At Oklahoma State, I felt like I was using just pure talent. I always gave effort, but now using technique and what I already have, that makes you that much more dangerous."

Bryant gave credit to former Cowboys wide receiver coaches Ray Sherman and Jimmy Robinson and current receivers coach Derek Dooley for his improvement in that area.

It also helps that he has some motivation from within the Cowboys organization. Bryant credited Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett because, "They stuck their neck out for me, and they stayed with me."

"The time when I didn't understand certain things," Bryant added, "they did their best to help me understand things."

Bryant also mentioned some of his other teammates and coaches, which included quarterback Tony Romo.

"I thank Tony," Bryant said. "I thank all the coaches for counting on me and putting that trust in me to know everything the way I do. I feel like it's my job to pay them back by going out and working hard."

Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota