Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett acknowledged this week that Dez Bryant is on the right track, but that he’s not yet fully healthy--and that as a result, he hasn’t really looked like himself over the past few weeks.
Bryant has had an odd year. He sat out of the Cowboys’ offseason program in hopes of landing a new long-term deal and avoiding the franchise tender, which he did successfully, signing a deal just hours before the July 15 deadline. When he joined the team in training camp, he was limited throughout, then broke his foot in Week 1. In addition to that injury, he's been dealing with a knee issue.
That injury kept Bryant out for five weeks and, since returning, he hasn’t exactly set the world on fire. He has 18 catches for 232 yards and a touchdown in five games--not horrible numbers, but certainly not typical Dez numbers, either.
“He's done a good job of getting himself ready to play in games as he's dealing with a number of different injuries,” Garrett said. “It's a tribute to his competitive spirit and what he's all about--his mental and physical toughness. But when you watch him play, he'd be the first one to tell you that he needs to become more refined in everything that he's doing. Typically that comes with the work that you get in practice.
“So we'll keep working with him on that so hopefully that shows up on a more consistent basis in the game. When you miss that time in practice, it's harder to do that. Again, he's done some good things. He's not quite himself, but he's working hard to getting back to 100 percent.''