Dallas Cowboys

For Dez Bryant, it’s as easy as 1-2-3

<137>Fourth in a series: Dallas<137> Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant <137>(88)<137> throws up his trademark “X” after catching a touchdown pass in the first half. <137>The Dallas Cowboys played the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday December 14, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Star-Telegram/Ron Jenkins)<137>
<137>Fourth in a series: Dallas<137> Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant <137>(88)<137> throws up his trademark “X” after catching a touchdown pass in the first half. <137>The Dallas Cowboys played the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday December 14, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Star-Telegram/Ron Jenkins)<137> Star-Telegram

Dez Bryant’s arms should have been tired after Sunday’s games. He kept throwing up the X on the Eagles.

Bryant scored three touchdowns, the first Dallas player with three touchdown catches since Miles Austin had three against San Francisco in 2011.

It allowed him to flash his signature touchdown celebration three times.

XXX marks the spot.

“He’s a monster. That boy is monster,” Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick said. “I’m so proud of him. I’m so happy for him. He works so hard. The craziest thing about all his catches is he makes them routinely in practice, every day.”

Bryant got into a heated exchange with Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins on the field before the game. They separated and went back at it at least three times during a two-minute span before things eventually settled down. Bryant backed it up on the field.

“A couple of words were exchanged,” Bryant said. “That’s just great competitors being focused and getting ready for the game. Much respect to him.”

It was as easy as 1-2-3 for Bryant on Sunday, and Eagles cornerback Bradley Fletcher had no chance.

Bryant’s first touchdown came in the first quarter as Bryant made the one-hand catch on the fade took easy over Fletcher.

Only 6 minutes, 8 seconds later, Bryant took advantage of Fletcher again, beating him for a 26-yard touchdown.

Bryant’s two scores helped the Cowboys jump out to a 21-0 lead.

But the Cowboys needed every bit of Bryant to hold off the Eagles.

He scored on a 25-yard touchdown on Fletcher with 12:48 remaining to give the Cowboys a 35-24 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

“They manned him up a few times, and we took advantage,” Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo said of Bryant. “Scott [Linehan] had a great game plan. It gave us opportunities. We made adjustments during the game and that helped.”

Bryant, who has 13 touchdowns this season, had his most yards since he had 158 against the Jaguars. He finished with six catches for 114 yards.

“That’s their defense,” Bryant said of seeing a lot of man-to-man defense. “We had to take advantage of what we needed to. That’s what we did.”

It helped Romo rebound from his worst outing of the year.

Romo went 18-for-29 for 199 yards with two interceptions and a passer rating of 53.7 in the 33-10 loss to the Eagles on Thanksgiving Day. He was 22-of-31 for 265 yards with three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 129.1 passer rating Sunday.

“Tony recognizes so well when he has the right look,” Linehan said. “He was patient and kind of let the game come to him. He did a nice job of getting the ball to other people. That makes that a lot easier, that connection between those two – I won’t say easy, because it’s really hard – but it takes it to a simpler form when you’re relying on other people in our offense especially in the passing game.”

Charean Williams, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @NFLCharean

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