Dez Bryant thinks about these situations all the time. Whether it’s in practice during the week, in the locker room before the game or once on the field, being in position to win the game is always on his mind.
So when Tony Romo let it fly on the third down in overtime, Bryant was ready.
“I’ve got to come down with it,” Bryant said. “That’s something that I always tell Tony, if the ball is in the air I’m going to try my best to come down with it. That’s exactly what I did. The crazy thing about it is we practice these situations every Thursday and it came up.”
The 37-yard completion on third-and-8 in overtime set up Dan Bailey’s 49-yard field goal, giving the Cowboys a 20-17 win over the Houston Texans.
Bryant was relatively quiet for most of the afternoon. Other than a 2-yard touchdown strike from Romo that gave the Cowboys a 10-point cushion in the fourth quarter, Bryant didn’t have much of an impact until OT.
The final catch, though, reminded everyone what kind of weapon Bryant is. As if anyone has forgotten.
“I said it ought to go down in with some of the really great plays because of the stakes,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “This was a good Houston team we were playing. We’re a team that’s trying to really get our feet up under us. We’re trying to build and it would have been a setback to lose the game today, for us, after having that big effort last week.
“In those circumstances that wasn’t the Super Bowl, that wasn’t the playoffs, but in those circumstances, regular season, I think it was a key a play as you could hope for, because it was a ball [that] probably wasn’t supposed to be caught.”
Romo seemed to think otherwise. He purposely put a little extra air under the ball for Bryant, who was working against Houston cornerback Johnathan Joseph.
“I knew he was in a one-on-one situation,” Romo said. “I just tried to make sure he was able to come down with the ball and he made a great play on it.”
Bryant has three inches on the 5-foot-11 Joseph.
“It’s just one of those plays, it’s a 50-50 play, and he came down with it,” Joseph said. “He double caught it coming down, and it kind of fell into his hands. I had my hand in the exact place you want it for a defensive back.”
And Bryant was in the exact place he wanted to be, with the game on the line.
“To be honest, I love it,” he said. “These situations I expect at all times. It’s because I love to make plays, especially in these situations. I’m not nervous at all. I envision a touchdown, but I got a big play so I can’t go wrong with that.”