ARLINGTON, Texas – On the second play of Sunday's game, Dez Bryant ran a short comeback route and hauled in an eight yards catch.
It was a promising start to Bryant's comeback from an injury-plagued 2015 season – and it was the last time his name would register on the stat sheet.
Of course, that comes with a bit of a caveat. Bryant nearly managed one of his typical jaw-dropping catches in the second quarter, but his bobbled 24-yard touchdown reception was overturned on an official's review.
"I felt like I had my hand underneath it," Bryant said. "I feel like if I was in bounds, it probably would have counted, but there's no telling."
What was telling was the Giants' ability to take Bryant away from Dak Prescott and the Dallas offense. The All-Pro wide receiver was targeted three other times besides his one catch and his overturned touchdown, but he couldn't turn that into any type of production on the day.
[embeddedad0]"They play a hell of a defense, they play good defense," Bryant said. "They made the plays."
As Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is well aware, this is nothing new for Bryant or the Cowboys. Opponents have been doubling him and making it a priority to limit his production throughout his career, and plenty of them have succeeded at not letting Bryant beat them.
For his part, Garrett said he was happy Prescott took what was given to him, rather than force the ball.
"We had a couple opportunities here to Dez to make some plays that we didn't cash in on," he said. "But again, I thought Dak did a really good job working through his progressions and making good decisions."
That won't ease the sting of the loss – or the stat sheet. It couldn't have been the welcoming party Bryant was anticipating, especially after a fantastic preseason, and it'll make the wait for the next opportunity that much longer
"We just got to get back to work. We're going to figure this thing out and keep on moving," Bryant said. "Our demeanor is right. We have a hell of a football team. There's no need for none of the guys, nobody to get down."