Cowboys vs. Jets: What Dez Bryant's Breakout Performance Means for the Season

Matt KingFeatured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 11:  Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on August 11, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

We all knew Dez Bryant had it in him, but it feels good to see him put it all together on Sunday Night Football as the Cowboys take on the Jets for their first game of the season.

The first quarter hadn't even finished, and Bryant already looked like he was at the Calvin Johnson and Andre Johnson level. I'm not even kidding; he's getting open, making plays and probably most impressive, he jumped right over a defender for a jump-ball touchdown.

Oh, and by the way, he's doing this against Darrelle Revis. Yeah, this is big time.

The Cowboys came into last season with a ton of expectations and folded under them almost immediately. Bryant was one of the few bright spots for them, but even still it wasn't anything like we're looking at tonight.

It's not like Dallas has really even had a shortage of weapons, but if Bryant is going to keep playing at the level of a top-three wide receiver, that's a hell of an upgrade from last season. Keep in mind that Tony Romo still has Jason Witten and Miles Austin to work with in the passing game. That could be about as tough of a 1-2-3 punch in the air as you'll see.

Now, this is all dependent on the Cowboys keeping their heads on straight for a whole season, which could be a stretch considering the ugly show we all saw last year, but there's no way it could be that bad again. Right?

I'm going out on a limb here and saying that Bryant has made "the leap" and that the Cowboys are now major, major contenders. Seriously, like 12-4 and a trip to the Super Bowl kind of contender. Think I'm crazy just after seeing the first part of this game? Just watch and see. First impressions matter.

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