Dez Bryant was mostly a tease before this season. This season, he has been a star.
Bryant's emergence continued with two 58-yard touchdowns in the first half against New Orleans. Oh, and he's doing it with a broken finger he probably shouldn't be playing with.
Bryant scored a long deep touchdown to get the Cowboys on the board early. Later in the second quarter, Bryant just bulled his way through two Saints tackles and got into the open field, casually strolling the final few yards into the end zone.
It took a while, but this is what the Cowboys gambled on with a first-round pick in the 2010 draft. He had shown flashes before this year, but now he's taken his spot as a top 10 (five?) receiver in the NFL with a blend of size and speed that most receivers don't own. He has a touchdown in seven straight games, and had his fifth 100-yard game on Sunday. Bryant finished with a career-best 224 yards.
The last couple weeks have featured a dimension Bryant hadn't shown too often before: an ability to play through pain. Even though initial reports said he would be out for the season, he insisted he would play through the injury with the Cowboys in the playoff race. That showed his willingness to commit to being a team player. He scored a touchdown last week with the finger taped up and dominated against the Saints, showing he could be an elite playmaker through adversity.
The story on Bryant for his first couple years in the league was his maturity issues. He's writing a much different chapter this season.
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