The Dallas Cowboys have kept the reins on three-time Pro Bowl receiver Dez Bryant this off-season.
Although he has been cleared by doctors and is fully recovered from surgery in January to repair his fractured foot, the Cowboys have been deliberate with him during this week’s mini-camp.
When training camp begins July 28 in Oxnard, California, Bryant will be a full go.
And the next six weeks can’t go by fast enough for him.
“I’m going to keep myself busy,” Bryant said. “I’m excited. I can’t wait. I expect to go to work when I go to training camp.”
Bryant said he will spend the time before training camp training has hard as he can to get in the best shape.
He will also spend time throwing with quarterback Tony Romo, starting next Saturday.
This marks the second consecutive off-season that Romo and Bryant haven’t been able to work together.
Last year, it was because he stayed away from the off-season program in a contract dispute.
And while Bryant did his best to work hard on his own while he was away from the team, he acknowledges that maybe he didn’t work hard enough last year, which led to a host of issues that started in camp that lingered throughout the season.
Bryant missed much of training camp with a hamstring injury. He was forced to take intravenous fluids in the first half of the season opener against the New York Giants before fracturing his foot in the second half.
He played in only nine games last year, catching a career-low 31 passes for 401 yards and three touchdowns, because of foot, knee and ankle issues.
Injuries were the biggest factor in his down season, but Bryant can easily connect the dots to his lost off season of a year ago. He has been around his teammates this off-season during some individual drills and in the weight room even though he hasn’t been a full go at practice. He plans to turn it up a notch during the six weeks before camp.
“I believe in work,” Bryant said. “I believe in what we do on the field and in the weight room. That’s how I get my results. If I don’t work hard, it’s going to show up. I felt that way last year. Not that I didn’t work hard, but I didn’t work hard enough. That’s why we have to turn it up a notch. I feel good. I feel real confident going into training camp.”