LOS ANGELES – Tony Romo made a prophetic statement Wednesday at training camp as he watched his star receiver continue to round into form coming off January foot and ankle surgery.
"I think by the end of this week he's going to be Dez Bryant again, if not already there," Romo said.
In Saturday's preseason opener against the L.A. Rams, his first game action in 238 days, Dez Bryant indeed looked like Dez Bryant.
He caught two passes from quarterback Dak Prescott on the Cowboys' opening drive: an 18-yarder that moved the offense to the Rams' 26-yard line, and six plays later, a leaping 10-yard touchdown grab on a back-shoulder throw from Prescott, a play he has perfected with Romo over the years.
"It's like practice," Bryant said. "That's exactly what we were doing in practice. Dak was delivering the ball to everyone. With him playing behind a great leader like Romo, he's going to learn a lot. He's doing outstanding."
Officials reviewed the catch to confirm Bryant crossed the goal line and maintained possession – a brief flashback to the famous catch-that-wasn't at Lambeau Field in 2014.
Bryant made his first All-Pro team that year, but last season injuries limited him to only nine games and he spent this offseason gradually working his way back to full practice work by training camp.
In Thursday's practice back in Oxnard, Bryant delivered an incredible one-handed touchdown catch against Brandon Carr and Byron Jones. Sunday, in only two series of work, he delivered in front of 90,000 fans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
"It was really nice to see Dez," Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. "Just his presence. He really had a great warmup. His approach to the game was critical for the leadership of this team. You know, those older players and established players, they're not going to play a whole lot. Some didn't play a lot tonight much, but he took that very seriously and I think it was great leadership on his part with the other guys."
Said Bryant: "I just felt good getting back out there on the field, making some plays. All the work we put in this entire training camp is paying off."