IRVING, Texas – Judging off the first two possessions, it looked like Dez Bryant was due for a busy day against the Eagles on Thanksgiving.
On the Cowboys' opening series, trailing 7-0, Tony Romo looked for Bryant twice – the second time on a long pattern that many felt warranted a pass interference flag on Philadelphia cornerback Bradley Fletcher. Romo went back to the well on the next possession, and he hit Bryant for a 38-yard gain to the Eagles' 4-yard line.
Then, the passes stopped. Bryant didn't come near another ball until midway through the third quarter, when Dallas trailed, 30-10. He finished the game with four catches for 73 yards, but was largely a non-factor for only the second or third time this season.
Asked Thursday if the Eagles' gameplan was as physical as he's seen in 2014, Bryant didn't want to make excuses.
"Nah, nah, nah. They played us good," he said. "They played us physical, but I don't think it was nothing that we haven't seen this year."
It was considered perhaps the biggest surprise of a surprisingly lopsided result. The Eagles' defense was ranked 26th against the pass heading into that matchup, and it still is after surrendering a 263-yard effort to Russell Wilson last weekend. On Thanksgiving, though, they limited Romo to a toothless, 199-yard effort.
Having had time to digest the tape, though, Bryant said he wasn't frustrated by what he saw – so much as encouraged about correcting it.
"Whenever you can see mistakes that you can learn from, that'll just make you that much ready to go," he said.
The Cowboys certainly appeared to learn last week against the Bears. Bryant did score a touchdown in Chicago – just the second time this season he's gone two-straight games without finding the end zone. But he did nab six catches for a team-high 82 yards.
Romo looked for Bryant on four of the Cowboys' first six possessions of the night, including three times on the opening series of the game.
"We try to execute the plays that's called," Bryant said. "Like I always say, you make the most of your opportunities. When they come, they come."
Bryant made it a point to tell reporters how eager he was for a rematch after the last Philly game, and he didn't back down from that on Thursday. He did add that it was nothing personal toward the Eagles, but to say he's excited for Sunday seems like an understatement.
The way that we've prepared, we're very confident and we can't wait until Sunday," Bryant said. ". I couldn't wait to get into meetings, to watch film and look at these guys again. I can't wait."