IRVING, Texas –Even after a career-high 93 catches and a career-high 13 touchdowns, there are ways for a receiver to get better.
So what would those be for Dez Bryant, as he attempts to compile his third straight 1,200-yard season?
"Coming quicker off the ball, being at the correct depth, being patient on your routes," Bryant said. "Just because it's open in a certain coverage – not giving too much details – but not taking the bait, finishing the whole route and executing that play the best way I possibly can."
Whereas all the offseason questions used to center on his off-field antics, they now focus on how he's perfecting his craft as a receiver. That's a credit to Bryant, who continues to establish himself both as a player and a person.
Now one of the top receiving threats around, Bryant said he's known since he entered the league he had a target on his back. The key for him now, after proving himself among the NFL's best, is leading his position group and, most importantly, staying positive through the good and bad.
That latter point was the hardest thing for Bryant to do in his transition to the NFL. [embedded_ad]
"I knew in my heart I'm a positive guy, and instead of me trying to explain and tell the world that I'm a positive guy, why not just go out and just show it and let everybody see it for themselves?" Bryant said. "I honestly feel like that's what I've been doing. I'm not here to impress anybody. I've been doing what I wanted to do since I stepped foot in the league, and that's be a role model for these kids. I'm going to keep trying to build that."
Bryant gives credit to other leaders on the team – both current and former, including Miles Austin, DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher – for showing him how to be a professional and how to handle himself the right way.
He said he's taken what he already knew and what he learned from the veterans and helped it all sculpt him.
"I wasn't understanding the whole process of how to be a professional player," Bryant said. "As time went on, I started learning little by little and it all came together and still is."
Bryant admitted it took him a while to understand how to be a professional. He had to figure that out early in his career, then get on the right track and remain steady.
He feels he's done well with that recently, and as long as that continues, the questions thrown at him will all be football-related.
That's a credit to Bryant, who's overcome tribulations and let the positive influences from veterans around him mold him professionally and personally. He takes a great deal of pride in the steps that he's taken throughout his career.
"I do, of course," Bryant said. "I've got two baby boys and they watch me every day. I have to make sure I'm doing right."