Dez Bryant made a seemingly impossible touchdown catch against the Lions
There are times when Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is still like a little kid. He is constantly in motion on a football field, unable to stand still. He is usually among the early players on the field for game day and he’ll throw passes to anyone and everyone. In practices, he is always on the go.
Last week he was returning punts with Ryan Switzer. With Cole Beasley and Lucky Whitehead not practicing because of hamstring strains, Switzer was the only regular return man, so Bryant joined him. He’s done this during Friday practices in the regular season.
The Washington Redskins cornerback had said he wanted to move beyond his personal battles with the receivers, but his comments in the Bleacher Report story published Thursday indicate otherwise.
On his first one-on-one snap in Wednesday’s OTA, Bryant made a one-handed grab on a Dak Prescott slant. In situational work, he caught a deep crossing route from Prescott. Two plays later, they hooked up on a deep, back-shoulder throw that led to what would have been a winning field goal attempt.
“I mean, he’s one of the best at what he does,” Prescott said. “He’s another guy, high balls, throw it up, catch radius that is unbelievable. He’s got to know what I’m thinking just as much as I want to know what he’s thinking or how he’s running the routes. He needs to know certain positions — the ball’s going to be here, the ball’s going to be there. As good as we can get in knowing each other, we keep trying every day.”
From 2010 to 2016, Bryant and Tony Romo combined for 349 catches, 5,017 yards and 50 touchdowns. They had a connection that all of the best quarterback-receiver combinations have.
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The Bryant-Norman matchup became the most physical in the fourth quarter, after Bryant made a 13-yard catch to the Washington 6 that set up Prescott’s touchdown run. Norman grabbed Bryant’s leg, preventing him from getting up after the play, resulting in a brief scuffle between both teams.
Unless these teams meet in the playoffs, the next round of Bryant vs. Norman will come in the 2017 regular season.
Even as the rookie contracts become more boilerplate, there are still negotiating points. Agents working in their clients’ best interest can spend weeks hammering out details that might seem like worthless minutiae now but have a significant effect on a player’s career down the road. nfl jersey cheap Offset language and bonus distribution are still important enough for some players to miss significant time during training camp, as we saw with Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa a year ago.
The Titans now can look forward to Davis, who has been compared to Dez Bryant and lauded as a potential game-changing weapon for ascending star quarterback Marcus Mariota, being a valuable contributor on the field in training camp.
The most intrigue lies at the bottom, though, with a corner and receiver who had a memorable Thanksgiving meeting. One sees a massive drop, while the other is just minor, but are they warranted?
Against Norman, Bryant was targeted seven times and caught three passes in two games. Five of those targets came in the second contest, the aforementioned Thanksgiving classic, which Bryant took for only 32 yards. The Cowboys won that game, though the most important contributions came outside of this matchup.
New York, meanwhile, was responsible for two of Dallas’ three regular-season losses, with much thanks due to the Giants’ defense. In those contests, Jenkins held Bryant to just one catch on eight combined targets for a mere 10 yards. An interception of Dak Prescott was the cherry on top of Jenkins’ sundae of success against Bryant.
Dallas lost plenty from its bend-but-don’t-break defense, a unit that was the league’s best against the run in terms of yards per game allowed, but 26th in the league against the pass. That unit has since seen safety Barry Church and corner Morris Claiborne depart in free agency. They’ve since attempted to address the unit by drafting Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, but will be forced to rely on second-year corner Anthony Brown in the meantime. Brown played admirably but also looked understandably green as a rookie in 2016.
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The two shutdown games in 2016 were not Jenkin’s first tussles with Bryant. The two squared off in 2014, when the cornerback was with the Rams. Jenkins snagged a pick-six on a Bryant comeback route. Later Dez burned the corner on a double move. The two also faced each other in 2013, but Bryant’s touchdown did not come against Jenkins.
“I’ve got to play Dez two times a year for the next five years so out of those five years, I’m not always going to have a lock-down game against Dez,” Jenkins said. “I understand that. When he does get the best of me, he got the best of me. I can’t be mad. But I’m going to see him again.”
Dez caught it! I repeat, Dez Bryant made a seemingly impossible touchdown catch against the Lions.
While Irvin and Warner are saying something that a majority of football fans agree with, they also played in a different league. With the rise of position-specific statistics and analysis, we’re uncovering great players at a higher rate than ever before. We’re also being more pointed in our criticism when things don’t go well.
The same goes for Norman, even if he is garnering a reputation as a current-day Cortland Finnegan. Finnegan was known as much for his on-field antagonizing as he was his excellent cover skills. Sometimes we just need to take a step back and realize how difficult it is for a football player to come back down to emotion level zero after a game and give us the answers we’d expect out of a person making that much money or influencing that many children — whatever caveat people are throwing at athletes these days.