Dallas Cowboys’ Weapon X Still Powers Offense

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Jun 17, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant (88) catches footballs for a drill during minicamp at Cowboys headquarters at Valley Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

So long as Romo can keep hitting Bryant, Dallas will always have a shot to win a football game. If the Ravens game was any indication, and I’ll bet it certainly was, Linehan is going to exploit opposing defenses with the running game and also short passes underneath. In other words, prevent Romo from having to stand in the pocket for too long, a frequent problem throughout his career, and get the ball out of his hands as quickly as possible.

The numbers already show that Dallas wins football games when Murray is involved enough in the attack to keep the chains moving and the points coming. His 100-yard rushing impact is almost identical to that once given by Emmitt Smith.

But Bryant is the reason that Murray, and other receiving threats working underneath, have the room they do to operate after the catch.

When Bryant does get the football, good things generally happen as well.

Of all of the weapons currently in the Dallas offense, Bryant is one player that you know is an eminent threat to score on every play. Bryant can score on a deep pass, short pass, screen pass—just get him the ball.

Bryant beats cornerbacks with strength and safeties with speed. Either way, he’s the most dynamic mismatch brought forth by the entire offensive depth chart each week he plays. This is saying a ton when you consider that Murray, Witten and Williams also line up with the same offense.

For as good as Bryant has been in a Dallas uniform, it wasn’t until 2012 that the top receiver in the Cowboys offense broke 1,000 yards receiving. He duplicated the feat in 2013 while earning his first trip to the Pro Bowl.

Just over a year ago, Bryant wondered publicly if he could pass 2,000 yards receiving in a single season, a total that he does have the talent to reach. With his 26th birthday still a few months away, Bryant’s arrow is still pointing upwards. This is precisely what was so evident against the Ravens.

Interestingly, the Cowboys have never even had a winning record with Bryant lining up wide. For everything he’s capable of doing, there’s always been other factors working against Dallas in so many games over the last several seasons. If it’s not injuries, it’s penalties. If it’s not turnovers, it’s the weather.

Not long ago, many wondered if Bryant was going to be consistent enough to become one of the game’s top wide receivers.

Today, Bryant has arrived as one of the top three or four single wideouts in the National Football League. Soon enough, his sudden increase in pay will further validate the notion that Bryant really is among the very best—and he’s still young.

Should the Cowboys survive a difficult ’14 schedule as well as numerous injuries that leave more questions than answers on a rebuilding defense, you can bet your sneakers that Bryant will have played a major role.

No, Bryant doesn’t need to eclipse 2,000 yards receiving this season for Dallas to reach the playoffs. In fact, anything more than 1,500 yards from Bryant—and a dozen touchdowns—would probably elevate all aspects of the Dallas offense to the point where the Cowboys might finally ascend mediocrity and possibly reach the postseason for the first time since 2009.