IRVING, Texas – An early lead, a strong rushing attack and more defenders loaded in the box meant a lot more one-on-one matchups on the outside for Dez Bryant than he's been accustomed to.
Bryant said he loves the success DeMarco Murray's had and to see him running the way he is, which is helping the receivers on the outside get more favorable looks.
"It makes it best for all of us," said Bryant, who took a guess at just how productive Murray's been this season. "DeMarco's been doing a great job. I can sit here and say a lot about him, especially he missed two games, needs 24 yards to reach 1,000. The last time we had a 1,000-yard rusher was what, '05? DeMarco's doing a tremendous job right now."
Bryant was just one off on both. Murray's sitting at 977 yards, needing just 23 yards to reach 1,000 yards. That would mark the first time a Cowboys running back reached the 1,000-yard mark since 2006, when Julius Jones ran for 1,084 yards.
It also could mean more single coverage on the outside for Bryant if teams need to focus their safeties on the run, which is what occurred against the Packers.
"It's fun," Bryant said. "I was kind of surprised, but it's a professional football league. You're paid to play man-to-man coverage, and that's what it is."
This week, Bryant will be matching up against a cornerback he's familiar with. He said his head-to-head matchups with DeAngelo Hall have become competitive, fun battles, and the cornerbacks in Washington are a physical group. With Brandon Carr sick Wednesday, the Cowboys had Sterling Moore pressing Bryant to give the receivers a taste of the physicality they need to be ready for Sunday.
"You know, it's none of that old crazy stuff in the past," Bryant said. "It's more, 'Let's come to work today,' and you've got to work."
Bryant also talked about stepping up with other receivers injured, the team's attitude and keeping the faith this season despite slip-ups in the past.
Is there pressure on you and Miles Austin with other receivers out?
Bryant: "No pressure at all, just by the way that we prepare. We all prepare like if someone was to go down, someone can step in and fill their shoes. That's the mentality that you have to have. You've just got to stay prepared, and I think we do a good job of that at the wide receiver position."
Is the attitude of the team slipping at all?
Bryant: "Not at all. What we have to do is you've got to be real and you've got to be honest with yourself. There's nothing we can do with what's happened in the past. All that's over. The good thing about it is we still have a chance. That's what we've got to look forward to. I think that's everybody's attitude. You can't focus on the past. You've got to worry about what's going on right now, and that's what we're going to do."
Can you learn from those experiences, though?
Bryant: "Of course. I haven't really spoke to anybody, but I can just tell by everybody's demeanor, in some way, it has to affect you in a good way to know that you've got an opportunity to go out here and do something special. I've been excited this whole week. I've been excited this whole week. The only thing I can think about is really just have the opportunity to go out here and play, and hopefully we can get this W."
What gives you so much faith in your quarterback?
Bryant: "His appearance and his approach in practice. He wants to win. It'd be different if he didn't want to win. Everybody would be just lollygagging and going on about their business. But it's different. He wants to win, and we're going to stay behind him. That's what we're going to do, that's what we want to do, and we believe. We're just going to continue to keep believing."