Sometimes the box score doesn’t tell the full story and that is the case with Dez Bryant’s performance in the Dallas Cowboys’ 19-3 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday night.
The star receiver had what would appear to be another forgettable game against the Giants. He finished with two catches for 43 yards on nine targets — not much better than his one catch games vs. the Giants last season.
But, again, the box score is deceptive at times. It makes no mention of Bryant drawing a pass interference penalty against Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins in the second quarter of what became a Cowboys’ touchdown drive. It makes no mention of quarterback Dak Prescott missing an open Bryant on a slant in the end zone in the first quarter.
Bryant felt he had a much better game than the stat sheet suggested.
“I honestly do,” Bryant said. “I feel like I got some good film going against them. But, hey, we got the ‘W.’ It’s going to get better. It’s just the first game.”
Bryant and Jenkins were a marquee matchup going into the game and the two jawed constantly throughout the night. On paper, it might appear Jenkins had won again but Prescott and the Cowboys weren’t scared to throw his way as Bryant’s nine targets suggest.
Bryant urged reporters to go back and watch the film because, in Bryant’s mind, Jenkins “caught some breaks.”
“Yeah, just go watch the film,” Bryant said. “You’ll see. I made him fall once. That was a touchdown. Just watch. You’ll see. ... I felt like he got lucky tonight. He caught some big breaks and that’s how it goes. We got the W.”
Bryant did have the longest offensive play by the Cowboys on the night, a 35-yard reception late in the third quarter.
Tight end Jason Witten led the team in receptions with seven for 59 yards. Terrance Williams led them in receiving yards with 68 on six catches.