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November 18, 2012

Dez Bryant puts past behind him, and based on Sunday anyway, looks to have a bright future

Dez Bryant had 12 catches for a career-high 145 yards and a touchdown in the Cowboys’ 23-20 overtime victory over the Cleveland Browns. It was Dez just being Dez, as he had promised last week.

“I told you, I feel like me,” Bryant said. “I feel like Dez. I’ve got a lot of stuff behind me – I don’t want to jump into it – and I feel great.”

Bryant, 24, put his off-field turmoil behind him last week. He reached an agreement with the Dallas County District Attorney to have his misdemeanor family assault charge conditionally dismissed. Bryant was arrested July 14, a week before the start of training camp, for assaulting his mother, Angela Bryant.

“Dez is maturing – everywhere,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “Now, that’s not to say that he won’t go out there and run the wrong route. We don’t want him running the wrong route off the field. But the point is, without trying to be cute, Dez is improving. But the risk is that he’s in the glaring spotlight of being on the field for the Cowboys, and off the field for the Cowboys, so I’m reluctant, we all are, to say, ‘Boy, he’s doing good.’ Dez is doing better.

“... He loves it so much, and he’s an optimist. That’s one of the good things about him. Coach him on and off the field hard.”

Bryant has 15 catches for 232 yards and two touchdowns the past two games combined. With 57 catches for 735 yards and four touchdowns this season, he is on pace for his first 1,000-yard campaign, while becoming what the Cowboys thought he would be when they made him the 24th-overall pick in 2010.

“I just feel like it’s me being on top of my stuff,” said Bryant, who has had three of his four career 100-yard games this season. “Coach stays on me all the time, and I love it. I don’t get down. I take it all in. I really take it to heart. I just want to do everything right that they tell me. I feel like I’ve got a big part to do.”

-- Charean Williams

Twitter: @NFLCharean

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