Last year one of the big knocks on Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant was that he seemed to disappear in the second half of games. The stats point that out, last year in the first half of games Bryant had 37 receptions for 558 yards and seven touchdowns. While in the second half his production dropped to 25 catches for 344 yards and two touchdowns.
The reasoning behind his drop in stats was blamed on not being in optimal physical condition. Dez getting injured against the New York Jets returning a punt on opening night last year also was said to be a factor.
We heard from just about anyone involved with the Cowboys about how they thought conditioning was an issue last year; from Jerry Jones, to Jason Garrett and down to wide receivers coach Jimmy Robinson.
This off-season though, we heard all about how much better care Dez Bryant has taken of his body, that he’s in much better shape than last year. Those very same people have given glowing reviews on Bryant’s conditioning this year.
Yet last week against the New York Giants we saw the same thing, in the first half Bryant caught 3 passes for 68 yards. Second half, one catch for 16 yards. In fact, that catch was the only target Bryant had in the second half. If you look at the second half stats for the Cowboys receivers, it was Miles Austin and Kevin Ogletree who saw the most amount of targets and catches last Wednesday night. Austin caught a key touchdown to put the Cowboys up two touchdowns and it was Ogletree who caught the pass to seal the game.
There were factors that contributed to those numbers, including Tony Romo routinely picking on the Giants worst corners and most of the time Dez Bryant was matched against their best, Corey Webster. Still it leaves me to wonder, is this going to be the same story as last year? If so, what will the reason be this time around?
I’m not hitting the panic button after one game because it’s way too early to tell if anything has changed. Dez Bryant appears to be in much better condition, both physically and mentally but its something to watch for if you’re a Cowboys fan. I don’t think it’ll be an issue this season but sometimes when everything seems great we need to remind ourselves there are still things to work on.
Which is something Jason Garrett has been preaching and apparently, his reach extends out past Valley Ranch.
Just a little perspective.
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