Wide receiver Dez Bryant was essentially a non-factor in the Dallas Cowboys' 20-19 Week 1 loss to the New York Giants, and quarterback Dak Prescott addressed the lack of a connection with the media Wednesday.
"We'll get him the ball as it comes up in our offense," Prescott said, per Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. "We're not gonna single out and say Dez has to get the ball on this play."
According to Nunzio Ingrassia of Fox Sports, Prescott also pointed out: "We'll make that connection. I'll put the ball in a better place. He'll make those catches."
Bryant tallied a single catch for eight yards in Sunday's game, although Prescott targeted him five times. Bryant nearly caught one of those targets for a 24-yard touchdown, but the officials determined he did not complete the catch after replay review.
In all, Prescott finished 25-of-45 for 227 yards in his first start. He didn't score a touchdown, although he didn't turn it over, either.
Cowboys fans were likely frustrated with the lack of production from Bryant, especially in such a close game. Had the two-time Pro Bowler made even a couple more catches, it could have been the difference between a win and a loss.
However, there is something to be said for Prescott's overall understanding of the game even after just one start. The rookie stressed he won't force Bryant the ball on a given play and will let the offense come to him. As talented as Bryant is, it could lead to turnovers and even more frustration if Prescott starts to force him throws into double coverage.
If and when he is open, the Cowboys quarterback would be wise to find him, though. While Bryant played in just nine games last year because of injuries, he was a force the previous four seasons as one of the best receivers in the league:
|Dez Bryant: 2011-14|
Prescott will have a perfect opportunity to involve Bryant more in Week 2 when the Cowboys take on division rival Washington.
Washington played the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1 and allowed Ben Roethlisberger to throw for 300 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-16 Steelers win. Two of those touchdowns went to superstar Antonio Brown, who also tallied 126 receiving yards and had his way with the Washington secondary.
Brown frequently lined up on the same side of the field as cornerback Bashaud Breeland instead of Josh Norman and found openings throughout the game. If Dallas utilizes a similar strategy, Bryant could be in for a bounce-back performance.