Bryant leads resurgence of Cowboys receivers in second half

Posted Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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At halftime, Dez Bryant had two catches, the Dallas Cowboys had three points, and it was the perfect time to start complaining.

But nobody did.

Certainly not the new, patient Dez Bryant.

“We had to slow it down, get our mind right — we did that and things started clicking for us,” Bryant said. “And we came out with this win.”

Bryant caught six passes in the second half, and surely not by coincidence, things started clicking. The Cowboys got a touchdown run from Phillip Tanner and a touchdown catch by Terrance Williams, putting behind a first half in which they punted six times.

Nobody came into the locker room ranting and raving, Bryant said. Certainly not him, despite what he might have shown on the sideline.

“It’s a mental thing,” he said. “You just have to stay focused, because it’s coming. I know when you all see me being hyped up — I feel like I have to do that; just because I think that’s just something that we need. And that’s just me.

“There’s no pretending, there’s no acting, there’s no hard feelings toward anybody. Just want to keep guys motivated.”

Bryant had eight catches for 110 yards, although he went without a touchdown for only the third time this year.

Miles Austin played but had no catches on three targets. He might still be slowed by the hamstring injury from Week 3. In his place, Williams had six catches for 71 yards and a touchdown, a 9-yard score in the fourth quarter that effectively put the game away.

Cole Beasley added six receptions for 53 yards on seven targets. Dwayne Harris did not catch any balls or see much time at receiver, but tight end Jason Witten added four catches and running back Joseph Randle had three catches.

So with 28 completions, quarterback Tony Romo exceeded his average per game this year, 25.5, although he posted only a 69.2 rating. Romo also has 27,485 passing yards, the most in NFL history by a player in his first 100 career starts.

“We have a lot of weapons we can use,” Beasley said. “The coaches do a real good job of game planning and getting it to where we can use everybody. And when we do, we’re going to be hard to stop.”

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Romo’s comfort level with Williams and Beasley is real.

“He is not afraid to go to them at all,” he said. “In fact, when there is a matchup that is favorable for us involving those guys, he throws the ball there with confidence. They have made a lot of plays for him, and when you add that to the mix of some of the other play-making guys we have on offense, it can be challenging for the opposing defense.”

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Williams, the rookie third-round pick, is exceeding expectations.

“Tony’s particularly talking about how that he thought Terrance would be where he is right now maybe next year, even the third year,” Jones said. “He was telling me as early as yesterday he’s never seen anybody progress as quickly as Williams.

“I’m really pleased with our third, fourth and fifth receivers. Tony is really playing outstanding, and he’s going to use all these guys.”

Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407 Twitter: @calexmendez

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