Second To None

Through nine games, Bryant has seven touchdowns, including two on punt returns.

last few days I've tried to go back over the years and find a player on the Cowboys who has jumped not one, but two players on a depth chart. Right now, I can't recall one.  

Sure, we've seen players move up to the starting lineup - it happens a few times every year. But I'm not sure I've ever seen a guy jump two spots. And I'm sure we won't see it officially this year. 

The Cowboys aren't going to make Bryant the team's No. 1 receiver. There would be no point in causing that stir.  

And since Dez is a rookie, you might want to keep him somewhat grounded at this point. Plus, if you tell him, and his agent, that he just leapfrogged a pair of $9 million a season receivers in his first nine games, you might have another issue on your hands next offseason.  

Still, there's always a way to say something without saying it.  

And the Cowboys said it last week. Bryant was their guy and they made sure to get him the ball, or at least try.  

To me, just as big as Bryant's acrobatic catches, even the ones that didn't count, was the way New York started to react to him. Remember, just three weeks ago, Bryant scored three touchdowns against these same Giants, including the impressive 93-yard punt return for a touchdown.  

So you just knew they weren't going to let it happen again. And they didn't, with the Giants opting to punt the ball out of bounds. The problem was that punter Matt Dodge needs to work on his directional kicks because in an attempt to kick away from Bryant he kicked it to Garrett. Dodge had a 31-yard punt that led to a Cowboys field goal, and later another 32-yard punt that set up another field goal.  

On two occasions, Bryant helped give the Cowboys field position at their 36 and then the Giants' 44 - all because he was standing there.  

Need any other reason for Bryant to return both punts and kickoffs? Just the threat of him standing back there is probably worth a few yards.  

I know it's real easy to criticize the Cowboys' drafts the last few years. Sometimes they get too cute trying to take the best player available, instead of a position of need.  

Well, obviously, receiver wasn't really a need, at least not in the first round. But without a doubt, Bryant was the best available.  

And now, he's arguably the best player on this team.  

As Garrett has preached to us for the last eight days, this is all about a process to get better. And it's not just about getting better on Sundays, but throughout the week - Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to be exact. That's probably where Bryant can improve the most - in meetings, in practice, in the film room, in becoming the best student of the game and the best teammate he can be.  

Not saying he's tremendously lacking in all of those areas, but clearly that's where he can improve the most.  

This guy has freakish talent. Through nine games, we've already seen it. One can imagine what happens when it all comes together.  

But you can bet the Cowboys will use these next seven games to find out.        

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