ARLINGTON, Texas – The previous Sunday, Dez Bryant returned from foot surgery and showed flashes of resuming his status as All-Pro receiver and engine for the Cowboys' downfield passing game.
This Sunday night, Bryant was officially back.
He caught five passes for 104 yards in the Cowboys' 33-27 overtime loss to the Eagles, including an incredible leaping touchdown grab from Matt Cassel as the fill-in quarterback spun away from defenders and lobbed the ball deep into the end zone.
When in doubt, Dez.
"I don't even know what happened on the play. I'm still dizzy," Cassel said, jokingly referring to his spin move around a wave of defenders and subsequent 18-yard heave to Bryant.
A week earlier, Bryant caught two passes for 12 yards in a loss to Seattle – a game in which head coach Jason Garrett said his star receiver was clearly trying to regain his rhythm following a five-game absence.
"I just think Dez is getting healthier and healthier," Garrett said. "Last week he probably wasn't quite himself and missed a lot of time and didn't have the full practice days leading up to the Seattle game.
"He was able to practice more this week and he looked more and more comfortable in everything we asked him to do."
For the second straight week, the Cowboys tried to get Bryant involved early. On the first play from scrimmage against the Seahawks, Cassel couldn't connect with him on a slant pass. On the second play from scrimmage against the Eagles, Cassel found him on a slant for a six-yard gain.
Two plays later, Bryant got behind the defense for a 51-yard catch and run that set up the Cowboys' opening touchdown. It was the second-longest catch by a Cowboys receiver this season and the longest completion for Cassel in his three games starting for an injured Tony Romo (collarbone).
Bryant's presence no doubt helped loosen up the overall passing game. Cole Beasley, catch-less in his two previous outings, had a team-high nine catches for 112 yards and two touchdowns.
And, on the final drive of regulation, Bryant drew two pass interference penalties on Byron Maxwell that gained 15 total yards and help set up Dan Bailey's field goal forcing overtime.
"He's a heck of a football player," Garrett said. "He plays the right way, and I think the more he practices and the more he plays, the better he's going to get."