Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant has addressed the media, and he said that he has been dealing with tendinitis in his knee which was the reason he didn’t practice on Tuesday. Besides his issues with the knee, he talked about the Cowboys offense this year and why didn’t work more than it did. According to Bryant, he and Dak get along just fine, and he would talk to owner Jerry Jones about the limited opportunities and desire to run different routes.
“Hey, man,” Bryant said Wednesday, “that’s something you’ve got to discuss with those coaches. Not Dak or me. You have to discuss that with them.”
Coach Jason Garrett and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan are preparing the team for their last game of the season against the Philadelphia Eagles, and Garrett spoke of Bryant’s comments: “Obviously you try to address things in-house, head-on. And you try to minimize whatever frustration might happen. … And that’s something we try to handle as best we can as a coaching staff.”
He also added: “… At times, he’s played really well. Certainly, he’s a mismatch player who’s made a number of plays for us, and at other times we haven’t been as good at throwing the football. Again, you want that passion, you want that emotion, you just want to make sure it’s channeled the right way, and it shows up in their play.”
On the other hand, Linehan didn’t hear Bryant’s comments and said that frustration piles up when you lose games. He also said that he could block that kind of criticism.
“The whole word of ‘frustration,’ that’s what everybody’s focus is on if you don’t win,” Linehan said. “We didn’t have these questions when we won 10 or 11 games or whatever it was last year [actually 13-3]. The system hasn’t changed. There’s no difference. So, when you don’t win, people aren’t in as good a mood, I guess. That comes from being the competitors that guys are.”
Linehan said that there is still time for taking a look at the big picture and that they still have one more match to play. However, we cannot overlook the fact that Dallas’ offense went from No. 5 in 2017 to No. 14 in 2017. Elliott missed most of the games due to a suspension whereas Dak Prescott struggled when Elliott was out. Also, many people have criticized Bryant for poor performances this year, but how has his tendinitis affected his abilities on the field?
“Well, he certainly has had a lot of time where he’d have to take off from practice,” Linehan said. “But, again, we’re in the mindset that no explanations or excuses, we’ve just got to go out and do our best on a weekly basis, and we’ll do all the evaluation of how the year went and all that stuff when the season’s over. Right now we have to get ready for this game.”
In the best-case scenario, Dallas Cowboys run the football well which means that the opposing defense must stop the running game. That opens space for wide receivers, and they can benefit from one-on-one matchups. On the other hand, the rivals still focus on the rushing game while the Cowboys receivers cannot win duels.
Dallas’ core receivers haven’t changed in five years with Jason Witten included, but yards per catch reduced this year. Moreover, quarterback Dak Prescott has increased the number of interceptions from four last season to 13 this year, with one game to go. The offensive line also struggled as injuries plagued them.
According to Linehan, Elliott’s absence was not that big a factor. However, the Cowboys’ offense was ranted in the top 10 in the league until Elliott started serving his suspension and he praised Cowboys’ third-down and red-down offense. Meanwhile, he didn’t speak on job security, and it appears that he isn’t concerned.
“That’s just part of the deal,” Linehan said. “If you spend time listening to whatever you call it, criticism or whatever, then you’re not focusing on the right things.
“We stay in a pretty tight, close-knit group, and we focus on our team and what we’ve got to do to win football games and do it the best way we can. We’re not focused on what people think or how they think we should do it.”