Whatever his flaws, Romo has heart. Dez, not so much.Cracked ribs? No ground game (2 yards a carry)? 7 QB hits and a sack? His "best" receiver not playing? Doesn't matter. Romo sucks it up and goes back on the field to help his team rally to an important victory.
The win wasn't pretty. But what an example Romo set for guys like Newman and Bryant. Both of them are always hurt. At least Newman can point to his age.
Maybe Dez will learn to play through injuries. But it was telling last week when Jason Garrett made a reference to the need for Bryant to learn to play through injuries. Certainly, Romo and the Cowboys, who are already thin at receiver, could have used Bryant.
Part of it is that Bryant seeks out meaningless contact. That aggression leads to injuries. But part of it is that Bryant has not yet dedicated himself to his profession. Jerry Jones needs to stop selling him as the greatest ever and make getting a legit number 3 receiver a priority, someone who can start if Bryant isn't committed to playing.
Drew Pearson, who was a warrior back in the day and whose number Jerry Jones foolishly bestowed on Bryant, nailed regarding Bryant after the Jets game:
"You saw what happened in the fourth quarter," Pearson said. "We had wide receivers that couldn't finish the game. Come on! Jeez! . . .we need you in the fourth quarter and you can't even run? You catch three passes in the first quarter and then you get targeted five times after that and you don't make any catches? Let's not be so high on this guy who hasn't really done anything. He missed four games last season, he comes in this game and he can't finish it out."
Pearson said what was obvious: the Cowboys, especially Bryant, simply weren't in good shape, leading to the fourth quarter collapse (actually, Dez collapsed after the first quarter).
Injuries are part of the game. No question. But staying in the game is partly about conditioning, partly about playing smart, and partly about heart. With Dez, at least so far, it looks like he's lacking in all three areas.