Every team on the Dallas Cowboys schedule is well aware of #88 and his ability to be a difference maker on the field; as a result Dez Bryant has become the focal point of every opposing defensive coordinator's efforts. For as long as he remains active in the game, this is going to be an issue for Bryant and the people accountable for getting him involved in the action. It is the nature of the beast in the National Football League, and for the Cowboys to experience success, they are going to have to adapt to this reality and come up with the means to get the ball into Bryant's hands. Having him targeted just two times during a crucial game is unacceptable.
Sure Rob Ryan and the New Orleans Saints spared no effort to take Bryant out of the Cowboys offensive equation; He faced double-coverage all night. That is nothing new for the Dallas receiver, it has been happening all season long and on far too many occasions the Dallas offensive brain trust has been content to allow opponents to take away their top pass catcher. That has to change immediately.
Jason Garrett, Bill Callahan, and Tony Romo need to get their heads together and figure out a way to get the star receiver involved in the Cowboys gameplan. There are a number of things that the team can try. As evidenced by Romo's on the field adjustment against the Saints, when he flip flopped Bryant and Cole Beasley, there are things that can and should be done. That adjustment paid off with Dez having his only reception on the night.
There are other options for the team to try as well. In addition to lining #88 up in the slot for a few plays, the team should also look at putting Bryant in motion. Another possibility for them to consider is going to bunched formations. Something has got to be attempted to get the team's top threat more involved on a continual basis. A good place for Dallas to start would be by looking at the film from the Detroit fiasco and studying the different ways that the Lions used Calvin Johnson. As Coach Landry used to say, "When you lose a game, you need to learn."
Not to take anything away from the New Orleans defense, they did an outstanding job of taking away the Romo-to-Bryant connection, and Rob Ryan easily out-coached the Dallas staff; but Garrett, Callahan, and company made the task too easy for the Saints secondary. The Cowboys offensive mindset of take what the defense is willing to give you is not getting the job done. It is time for a "take what you need to get the job done" attitude to take hold.
For Dallas, that means finding a way to make Dez Bryant a major factor week in and week out.