IRVING, Texas – When DeMarco Murray rumbled to his first touchdown of the night last weekend against the Saints, he tore right through a gap created by Jason Witten and Dez Bryant.
Bryant said he doesn't throw up the "X" for any touchdowns but his own, but he made no bones about his excitement for Murray – and his role in the score.
"You damn right, you know why? Because I felt like I was a part of that," Bryant said. "I made that happen – I helped make that happen. I felt good about that."
It's a narrative that continues to build as the Cowboys continue to run over opposing defenses. It's expected that the vaunted offensive line is going to have success in the run game, but the blocking abilities of Dallas' tight ends and wide receivers isn't going unnoticed, either.
"We've got the leading rusher in the NFL, so we have to notch up our game," Bryant said. "If we get on our blocks, nine times out of 10, he's got one or two guys that he has to beat. That's really not much, especially with the way he's been running the ball."
Those extra blocks may not be the reason Murray is leading the league in rushing – he's averaging 133 yards per game, after all. But Bryant said the emphasis on blocking has been huge during Derek Cooley's time as receivers coach.
On plays like that touchdown, it can make the difference.
"It's a commitment thing – it's a mindset. If you want to block, all it is a mindset. If you don't block, like I said, it's a mindset – you don't want to block," Bryant said. "Coach Dooley, we talk about blocking before we even talk about a football in the air, so I give a lot of credit to Coach Dooley."
The credit goes further than just Bryant, as Dwayne Harris continues to maul defenders as the season goes along. In his second season, Terrance Williams said he's seen major improvements in his blocking, despite going for 77 yards and two touchdowns of his own on Sunday night.
"It changed, because now it's powerful, stronger people," Williams said. "You've got to go back to your fundamentals instead of just beating people because you're stronger than them. Now, there's people stronger than you and you've got to go back to what you've been taught here." [embedded_ad]
None of this is to be mistaken. Bryant is one of the Cowboys' most dangerous weapons in his own right. He might not enjoy blocking as much as catching balls, though he said he does enjoy blocks that spring long runs – preferably 18 yards or more. But even if they can't all be touchdown runs, Bryant said he's happy to improve that side of his game.
"I'm a wideout first, I like to catch passes, but this year I think I came a long way, you know -- not using the right techniques to block, to now, feeling good about it, adding that to my game a little better," he said. "Not saying I couldn't block, I'm just a better blocker now."