At the beginning of the month, we looked at how the Cowboys were thriving under the new strength & conditioning regime.
Over the weekend, wide receiver Dez Bryant added a little more perspective on just how much of an impact the off-season workout program with the Cowboys' strength and conditioning staff has had on him. John Machota of the Dallas Morning News writes that Bryant feels “a lot stronger” than he was last year.
Bryant suffered a deep thigh bruise in the season opener against the Jets that kept him out of action for the second game of the season and hampered him for most of the remaining season. Working with Cowboys strength coach Mike Woicik for the full offseason instead of last year's abbreviated version appears to have made a big difference for Bryant this year:
“It affected me big time,” Bryant said. “I feel much quicker. I’m coming out of my breaks faster. I got in shape real quick. I know all the other guys have been going through the same workouts, so I’m pretty sure they feel the same exact way. I feel like the team is just really ready to go. I’m not going to predict anything, but I know for a fact that we’re ready to go.”
Dez Bryant's new-found athleticism was all the rage during the recent OTAs and minicamp. More importantly though, the results of Bryant's offseason work caught the eye of the one person who will be key for Bryant to translate his improved conditioning into improved performance: Tony Romo.
Asked for his assessment of Bryant, Romo recently said that Bryant was consistently getting better.
“He just keeps improving and improving. He’s a kid that I enjoy playing with because he wants to get better,” Romo said during an interview that was aired Sunday on CBS 11’s The Blitz. “He’s always asking, ‘Hey Tony, what can I do to be better?’ I love playing with guys like him, Miles (Austin) and these guys. They want to be better themselves and they’re trying to do anything they can to get better.”
Bryant finished last season with 63 receptions for 928 yards with nine touchdowns. With improved conditioning, there's every reason to believe that Bryant will improve on those numbers in his third year.