Wide receiver Dez Bryant remains an X factor for the Dallas Cowboys offense because of his ability to make the big play.
That was evident Monday night against the Detroit Lions when he caught four passes for 70 yards and two contested touchdowns.
He sparked another touchdown by drawing a pass interference penalty and tossed a touchdown pass to tight end Jason Witten on a reverse because the defense was focused on stopping him.
He needs to be a big part of the offense if the Cowboys hope to reach the Super Bowl.
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But the days of the Cowboys forcing the ball to Bryant and him getting 10 targets a game are over.
Those were the days of Tony Romo at quarterback.
The Dak Prescott-led offense functions best when the ball is spread around.
The Lions game was a perfect example. Bryant caught four passes, receiver Terrance Williams caught four passes for 61 yards and receiver Cole Beasley caught four passes for 25 yards.
Tight Jason Witten had two passes for 33 yards and the touchdown.
Brice Butler had a 21-yard touchdown reception.
Consider also that Bryant and Beasley had five targets and Williams and Witten had four targets.
A Lions team focused on stopping running back Ezekiel Elliott had no answers for the Cowboys’ diverse and efficient passing attack.
“That’s what we want to do” coach Jason Garrett said. “We want to be an offense that when you break the huddle, you can attack the defense a lot of different ways. It starts with the run and the pass, running the ball different ways and, similarly, throwing the ball to different guys and throwing it different ways. And if you can attack a lot of different ways from a lot of different personnel groups, you become difficult to stop.”