SAN DIEGO – Starting for injured All-Pro Dez Bryant, Devin Street didn't focus on his three catches for 45 yards in Thursday's preseason-opening 17-7 loss to the Chargers.
The Cowboys receiver focused more on the third-down conversion he didn't quite pick up.
"I was kind of upset – I should have gotten a better release," he said.
That's the mark of a developing player with a grasp on what he does well and what he doesn't do well enough yet.
Street was effective in the starting lineup while Bryant continued to recover from a minor hamstring strain. Two of Street's three catches came on the Cowboys' lone touchdown drive – a 20-yard reception that brought the offense deep into San Diego territory, and a 21-yard catch on third-and-17 that set up a Gus Johnson touchdown run a play later.
Not bad for the second-year receiver who has battled a foot injury early in training camp.
"It was good to see him out there," head coach Jason Garrett said. "He's made a lot of development physically over the course of the offseason. He really embraced the offseason program. He got stronger, quicker, more explosive. We've seen that in camp and it was good seeing him take that to a game situation.
"He was injured coming in, so we didn't know how much he would play. He did a good job fighting through that and he made some plays for us."
A fifth-round pick a year ago, Street said he's bulked up to about 200 pounds and wants to add about five more pounds. The Cowboys have high hopes for his development behind Bryant, Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley.
Street said he feels "a lot more comfortable" than he did in his NFL debut last preseason. He credits better preparation after learning from veterans such as Jason Witten in 2014.
"Even going out in that first game, the game slowed down a lot more," he said.
Thursday was a good start to 2015. But Street isn't satisfied.
"It was OK," he said. "I could still do a lot better, to be honest. I'm just trying to get better every day."