WR's sacrifice, dependability show he's capable of being franchise cornerstone
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- If any doubt lingered, it's long gone now. Dez Bryant
has earned the right to be considered a crucial part of the Dallas Cowboys
This isn't about numbers, although Bryant has produced like an All-Pro recently, catching 34 passes for 584 yards and eight touchdowns while the Cowboys have won five of the past six games to emerge as legitimate playoff contenders.
Every single player and coach on the Cowboys' sideline knew that Bryant needed surgery to fix his fractured left index finger. They were all well aware that he delayed the operation because the Cowboys were fighting for a playoff berth and he felt he needed to be a part of it. And they were all inspired.
"There was no way he was going to be stopped from playing in this ballgame and helping our football team," coach Jason Garrett said. "When you're a coach and you're a player and a guy has that determination and shows that mental and physical toughness for playing, it's contagious. Beyond that, he makes a ton of plays."
Quarterback Tony Romo
paid Bryant what he considers the highest form of praise: "He's a football player, isn't he?"
"He's in that fraternity of tough guys," tight end Jason Witten
said. "That's not easy to do what he did."
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