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February 23, 2013

Jason Garrett continues to gush about the maturity, development and progress of receiver Dez Bryant

Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant's breakout season in 2012 with 92 catches for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns was all about his continued maturity and development as a player and person, according coach Jason Garrett.

Talent was never an issue for Bryant, the team's first round pick in 2010. But he struggled his first two years in the league with injuries and maturity issues that plagued him on and off the field.

Bryant caught 45 passes for 561 yards as a rookie and 63 passes for 928 yards in 2011 before exploding with his first 1,000 yard season in 2012. Bryant had a better grasp of the offense and no off-the-field issues after a pre-training camp arrest for misdemeanor family violence involving his mother.

The case was resolved midway through the season, allowing Bryant to play with loose and free the rest of the way.

"There’s a correlation in the growth and development as a person and the growth and development of the player," Garrett said. "I think what he’s done more than anything else is just simply mature and it has a lot to do with the approach that he’s taken. I think the first couple of years in the league, he was a very productive player for a rookie receiver and a second-year receiver, he made big impacts on games, but he wasn’t as consistent as he needed to be. I think his practice habits, his commitment to getting better on the details of the game just continued to improve. I think he saw the results on how that led to him having success on Sunday afternoons. And that fosters itself. He’s got a great passion for the game. He loves football. Nobody catches more balls in a practice than Dez Bryant. He’s got me throwing them. He’s got all the offensive coaches throwing them. He’s got the backup quarterbacks throwing them. He’s got the trainers throwing them. He loves this game. I think anyone who has watched him play sees that and I think he’s grown more as a person and it’s reflective in his play."

Clarence Hill

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