DallasCowboys.com Staff Writer
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Thu., Dec. 08, 2016 10:35 AM to 11:00 AM CST
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Bryant’s Focus On Finale Unaltered By Outside Influences
IRVING, Texas – If Pro Bowl consideration can’t take Dez Bryant’s focus off the win-or-go-home regular season finale, then a particularly loquacious Redskins cornerback probably doesn’t have much of a chance, either.
Nothing’s fazed Bryant from the zone he’s in, and he doesn’t expect a trash-talking DeAngelo Hall to change that.
“That’s his style of play,” Bryant said. “At the end of the day, he uses everything he needs to use to get into guys’ heads. Back then, it probably would have worked. But not now.”
What he means by “now” is his newfound ability to constantly deliver every week. What he also means by “now” is the Cowboys’ opportunity to reverse their fate of past seasons by finishing off a year with a victory to send them into the postseason.
“Everybody’s excited,” Bryant said. “Everybody knows what’s at stake.”
Bryant said he’d be thrilled to make the Pro Bowl, but that’s not what he’s focused on with what’s essentially a playoff game on the horizon. Nor is he focused on Hall, who attempted to get in Bryant’s head during the last matchup with the Redskins, when Bryant caught eight passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns.
The emerging star in Dallas has seven straight games with a touchdown and has already surpassed the 1,300-yard receiving mark. Bryant, who never had a 1,000-yard season prior to this year, is displaying a type of consistency he’d never demonstrated before.
Much of that can be attributed to his focus. With the team so close to a playoff berth, he doesn’t even want to discuss what he’s accomplished in recent weeks, compiling 721 yards and nine touchdowns in his last six games. He just wants to win.
“There’s always room to get better,” Bryant said. “I know I’m not all the way there yet.”
Right after he mentioned how he’s performed, he immediately started talking about the team as a whole. Bryant’s level of maturity and focus down the stretch allowed him to become the type of player everyone thought he could be.
He postponed surgery on his finger so he could be part of the team when the Cowboys needed him most, describing his fractured finger as a “non-issue.” He continued to perform at the same level he had prior to the injury and is now coming off his greatest game as an NFL receiver.
“It’s a mental thing, and if you think it’s going to hurt, it’s going to hurt,” Bryant said. “If you don’t think about it, there’s nothing to worry about, and that’s my mindset every time I step on the field.”
His mental side can’t be questioned through the second half of the year.
Bryant said he’s studying differently and understanding coverages. He said he’s listened to quarterback Tony Romo’s instructions to the point that he’s able to adjust to defenses more consistently.
He does all of that so a team like the Redskins can’t accomplish what the Giants did to the Cowboys sending them home last season.
“We’re trying our best to work hard so we won’t have to experience that feeling again,” Bryant said.