IRVING, Texas –Since the Cowboys opened up training camp in California in late July, the most talked-about player has been Dez Bryant, whose on-field progress is considered a huge reason for optimism for the 2012 season.
But the one interested party not talking about Bryant or the Cowboys – or anything else, for that matter – has been the wide receiver himself. However, in the wake of the Week 1 surprise win at New York, when he caught four passes for 85 yards and helped open up things up for his fellow offensive weapons, Bryant had plenty to say about the forward steps he and the team have taken since their previous trip to the Big Apple ended in elimination from playoff contention, back on Jan. 1
Just one game into the season, the Cowboys and their most visible young star appear to have made marked improvements.
"I feel like that's my job," Bryant said. "If I'm going to be put out there with Tony Romo, Witten, Miles Austin, I've got to know what the hell I'm doing. And I feel like I dedicated myself to do that. And not only that, I had help from Tony, I had help from Miles, Witt and the rest of the guys. I feel like it helped me out a lot, I learned a lot and I'm just going to keep it moving."
Bryant touched on a wide range of topics surrounding the team's forward momentum, as well as his own.
What allowed the team to go into New York and get a win most outsiders didn't see coming?
Bryant:"I just feel like we prepared well. And I feel like that's what we've got to do throughout the rest of our games. We've got a good team, and we've all got to each other's back … It means a lot. We just went out there and played our game. We prepared very well and it showed out there on the field."
As a young guy on the offense, what did it mean to see Jason Witten playing three weeks after a lacerated spleen?
Bryant:"It just makes you want to play harder … just to see Witt go out there, it just gave us that extra push to go out there and play at our best, because Witt didn't have to play. He got his spleen injured, and really he shouldn't have played, but he showed heart, and he gave us a little bit of momentum."
Witten is, obviously, one of Tony Romo's favorite targets, but are you becoming comfortable enough in the offense that you feel he's starting to trust you in the same way, and you can be more involved?
Bryant:"I'm very comfortable. It takes time. Learning everything is not easy. And I feel like I've just got to put the time and the work in and get it done, and I feel like Tony (Romo) and the rest of the guys have done a great job of helping all the younger guys, including myself.
"I feel like all the wide outs, the running backs, it's just the way that we prepare. Tony believes in all the guys that the coaches put out there. I just feel like he believes in us and we can all be a go-to-guy to him."
How impressed were you in Kevin Ogletree, and what can his step forward mean for the rest of you guys on offense?
Bryant:"He did fantastic. He really did. It just goes to show, like I said – I've said prepared about three times – you know, that's what it was, not only K.O., but everybody's been doing their job. K.O. went out there (Wednesday) night and he performed, and he showed it. He's been doing the same thing each and every week, every day. K.O. went out there and he did a great job.
"K.O. coming out, performing the way he did, of course it's going to help all of us. We need him to keep doing that each and every week, and all it's going to do is just make us even better."
Your first two years, the Cowboys came in with great expectations, and didn't fulfill them. Is there something different about this year's team?
Bryant:"Everybody's focused. Everybody knows that we've got to get our job done, and I feel like everybody is taking their job to heart and playing their role."