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'Boys Hope Austin Return Helps Dez Get More Looks
IRVING, Texas – Both head coach Jason Garrett and owner Jerry Jones had separate media briefings on Tuesday.
Both were adamant about Dez Bryant needing the ball more.
Jones said on his weekly radio show that not only does Bryant need it more, but it’s something “that is a reasonable thing you adjust in a two-week period.”
Garrett was rather blunt in answering the question, stating simply “Absolutely. You simply have to find ways to get him the ball.”
Last week, Bryant had a season-low one catch for 44 yards. He was only targeted twice, mainly because of the Saints’ defensive scheme that often put a safety over the top on every play Bryant ran. Once, the Saints even double-teamed him right on the line of scrimmage, similar to a punt return team doubling the gunner.
“Typically, he’s gotten many more than that, and I think his production speaks for itself that way,” Garrett said. “But he’s one of those players you want to make sure you give him chances. We have got to do that, and we’ll do a better job of that going forward.”
One thing that could help with that plan is the return of Miles Austin, who has missed three straight games with a hamstring injury and six of the last eight. Austin, who has not caught a pass since Week 3 against the Rams, is expected to return for the next game against the Giants following the bye.
Jones said Austin should have a “clean bill of health” and Garrett said there’s no doubt Austin has been missed.
“Oh, no question. Miles is a really good football player,” Garrett said Tuesday. “And Miles is a mismatch-type football player for people because he’s a big guy, and when he’s healthy, he’s quick and explosive. So he’s a hard match when you put him outside against certain guys. He’s a hard match when you put him inside against certain guys. He can get open by being bigger and stronger. He can get open by being quicker and more explosive when he’s healthy.”
In Week 1, Austin had 10 catches for 72 yards, running mostly underneath routes as the Giants decided to double-team Bryant most of the game, keeping him to just four catches for 22 yards. Tight end Jason Witten was able to benefit from that as well, catching eight passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns.
Garrett said double-teams are nothing new, but it helps to have more weapons to compensate.
“Dez and Witten have been doubled their whole lives,” Garrett said. “It’s a matchup-type league and we attempt to do that when we’re facing really good players. Other teams attempt to do that against us. There’s always a plan for these guys. So regardless of what that is, Dez has to do a better job. We have to do a better job when he’s getting that attention, giving him opportunities.
“Having said all of that, when you have other weapons, it makes it more challenging for teams to simply isolate on taking those guys away.”