Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys’ Dez Bryant says he feels best he’s felt all season

Dez Bryant recently gave his fellow Dallas Cowboys receivers Air Jordan 11 shoes from Nike.

Brice Butler, Cole Beasley and Lucky Whitehead thanked the Cowboys’ star receiver on Twitter, and Terrance Williams retweeted his thanks.

“We rock Jordans,” Bryant said Thursday. “That’s what we do. Every year, around this time, it’s all about the 11s. That’s what it was. We got them.”

Now, after his giving, Bryant looks forward to receiving.

He has produced only one 100-yard game in the six games he has played this season.

“I’m always ready,” Bryant said. “I just got to take advantage of every opportunity. If it comes my way, I’m going to make the most of it.”

Bryant missed five games this season with a fractured right foot that required surgery on the fifth metatarsal. He’s also had recent ankle and knee injuries that have slowed him.

“I just think he’s been dealing with a lot of different stuff physically,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s done a really good job over the course of each week getting himself ready to play in the game without that much work. But again, we believe in practice. The repetitions guys take over and over again show up in the game, even for a guy like that. It’s been good for him to get a little break, and hopefully he’ll have a good, full week of practice.”

On Thursday, the Cowboys listed Bryant as a full participant in a full practice for the first time since his injury in the season opener. That has Bryant ready to turn back into Dez Bryant.

“I’ll tell you this: This is the best I ever felt … since I’ve been back playing,” Bryant said. “Yeah, this is the best I’ve felt. I’m still getting better. I’m more confident. I give a lot of credit to my teammates, especially this guy standing right next to me — Devin Street. We stay on one another, and we try to keep a positive attitude, and I think that goes a long way.”

Bryant, who made the All-Pro team for the first time last season, has caught 23 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns this season. His season-best game came against the Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 8 when he caught five passes for 104 yards and a touchdown.

He drew criticism from Carolina cornerback Josh Norman, who held Bryant to two catches for 26 yards in the Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day game. Among other things, Norman said the Cowboys “need to get Dez’s 70 mil back” in reference to the long-term extension Bryant received in the off-season.

Bryant, who hadn’t talked to the media since Nov. 22 in the Miami postgame locker room, downplayed Norman’s comments Thursday.

“Come on now. Who are we playing this week?” Bryant said. “All right then. …If I didn’t talk to you about it, it was irrelevant.”

Bryant played only 131 snaps with Tony Romo this season. His other 176 snaps came with Matt Cassel as his quarterback. Bryant caught 11 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown from Romo and has 12 catches for 161 yards and a touchdown from Cassel.

Now, with Romo out with a hairline fracture in his left collarbone, Bryant has Cassel throwing to him again. But for the first time, the Cowboys’ backup quarterback will have a healthy Bryant, who hopes to begin looking more like the 2014 Bryant.

“I be me, and I feel like me is good enough,” Bryant said. “The way I do things, the way I carry myself, the way the guys know who I am as a person. They know how I feel about this game; they know how I go about this game. I could have easily put this thing in the bag with the injuries that I’m dealing with, but I’m not. I’m not here to make no excuses. I’m trying my best to get right.

“For me to get right, I’ve got to be practicing; I’ve got to be out there in games to get back to the level I want to be at. I’m feeling better by the day. This is the best I’ve felt in practice. This has been my real, full practice.”

Charean Williams: 817-390-7760, @NFLCharean

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