Dez Bryant considers himself among the top receivers in the game, and his statistics justify it. But that doesn’t mean he’s reached his potential.
Bryant is more than receptive to coaching and to criticism because he knows it will help him grow.
“If it’s not right, tell me it’s not right because I want to do my best to fix it,” Bryant said. “You should never be satisfied. Nobody. Never get comfortable. That’s when you start falling downhill.”
Bryant has enjoyed a strong camp so far and appears to be in midseason form. He showed that much in his preseason debut Saturday, as he caught three passes for 59 yards and a touchdown.
But Bryant also ran a bad route during one of the plays, which coach Jason Garrett didn’t hesitate to point out.
“He cares about getting better and better to make himself great and make our team great,” Garrett said. “It’s fun to coach him. He still has a long, long way to go as a player and he wants to get there.”
Durability is becoming an issue with Rolando McClain.
The Cowboys would like McClain to win the starting middle linebacker job, but he continues to miss practice time with various setbacks. The latest came Wednesday when he cramped up in the morning and sat out.
Cramps also forced him to cut his Tuesday practice short. McClain has previously missed practices, or parts of practice, with a stomach virus, a tight hamstring, knee tendinitis and a tight quadriceps.
“We are for practice, we practice for a reason,” Garrett said. “We want guys to be out there. When you are not out there, it’s not good for them, it’s not good for our team.”
Garrett hopes McClain is able to practice Thursday and said he has not questioned McClain’s desire to play or the legitimacy of his injuries.
“I have seen him practice,” Garrett said. “Now he, like everybody on our team, has to do it again and again and again. He has some things that have sidetracked him here for a day or two throughout training camp. But obviously being out at practice playing play after play, day after day matters. So, hopefully, he will have a chance to do that starting again tomorrow.”
Latest on Melton
Defensive tackle Henry Melton has been sidelined since Aug. 10 with a groin injury and did not practice again Wednesday. He’s unlikely to play Saturday in Miami.
The more realistic option, if Melton is going to play in the preseason, is for him to get a limited number of snaps in the finale against the Broncos on Aug. 28. But Melton is not going to force the issue. He simply wants to be ready to go for the season opener against San Francisco on Sept. 7.
“I would like to [play in the preseason], but I’m not going to push it to where I can have any setbacks or something,” Melton said. “It’s pretty much just what they want me to do. I’d like to go out there for a preseason game — even if it’s just a couple of plays or a series or something. Just knock some of the rust off for a regular game.”
Briefly• Tony Romo did not practice Wednesday, falling in line with his training camp schedule. Asked if Romo would be able to participate in every practice in the regular season, Garrett said: “We do anticipate him being able to handle the load of a work week leading up to the game. It’s important for him to get reps. At the same time, we’ll listen to what his body is saying, and we’ll respond accordingly.”
• Garrett said he will alter the Cowboys’ practice schedule this year, giving players Mondays off instead of Tuesdays. That’s something that has been brought to the NFL by a couple coaches from the college ranks, including San Francisco’s Jim Harbaugh and Philadelphia’s Chip Kelly.
• Cornerback Sterling Moore (groin) said he doesn’t know if he’ll be able to practice Thursday, but his groin is feeling better. He went through more drills Wednesday, calling it a “step forward.”