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July 20, 2013

Garrett, Jones eager to see what's next from Dez Bryant, who 'took that next step' last year

Dez Bryant has only “scratched the surface” of what he can do to get better as an NFL player, coach Jason Garrett said.

“When I say that, it doesn’t mean he’s going to catch X number of more balls. That’s not what I’m talking about,” Garrett said Saturday in the opening press conference of training camp. “I’m just talking about playing better, playing at a higher level. His practice and his work ethic throughout the offseason was outstanding.”

Bryant caught 92 passes for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns last year.

“There’s no question in Year 3 last year he took that next step,” Garrett said.

Garrett continued, “I think as much as anything else, he’s been better from a habit standpoint in his life and in his work as a football player. What’s great and gratifying for us as coaches is you preach that, you preach that and you preach that, and then you see the results that come from it.”

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the improvements in Bryant’s personal and professional lives are tangible.

“They’re not just commitment or some kind of conversation,” Jones said. “He’s really doing it, and he is exciting. It’s exciting to see progress with someone who can help a lot of people, plus as a ballplayer. It’s exciting to see him make that progress there. I’m hesitant to use the word ‘uncomfortable’ or ‘comfortable.’ I’m just impressed at this stage with how he has handled himself.

“Those that are closest to him, those that have a dog in the fight, so to speak, which our fans do – a lot of other people are rooting for Dez, too – it’s a consensus that he’s making great strides.”

Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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