Despite Dez Bryant's struggles since returning from injury, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has no intention of shutting down his star wide receiver for the rest of the season. On Tuesday he told Dallas' 105.3 "The Fan" that he expects a big game out of Bryant Saturday against the Jets.
"Shut him down? No," Jones said, via the Dallas News. "He'll be a very important part of what we initiate and what we hope we're still doing in the second half and hopefully through the end of the ball game. We'll go balls out with Dez."
Bryant, who signed a five-year, $70 million contract in the offseason, missed five games earlier in the year due to a foot injury and has dealt with knee and ankle issues as well. He has just six catches for 97 yards over his last three games, including one catch for 9 yards Sunday against the Packers. Bryant and backup quarterback Matt Cassel, who was inserted into the starting lineup three weeks ago after Tony Romo suffered a season-ending shoulder injury, have yet to get on the same page.
"I'm not so sure the foot is an issue apart from the fact that it limited him very early in the season and training camp and of course the way we were involved in [contract] negotiations during the spring," Jones added. "In my mind, it is completely related to lack of practice, repetition. Dez is a passionate player. He's a passionate practice player. But he just hasn't had enough of it to cope with what we need him to be doing right now."
Since returning to the field, Bryant has reeled in just 39 percent of the balls thrown towards him, according to Blogging the Boys. He dropped two passes on Sunday (and had one catch taken away from him a questionable replay review), though the rainy condition at Lambeau Field could have played a role.
"I'm not going to lie," Bryant said after the Cowboys' Sunday loss, via the Star-Telegram. "I'm not making excuses. I'm telling you what really happened. What really happened is I swapped out my gloves three times. I wish I never put gloves on in the first place."
Despite being 4-9, Jones added that he has no problem with how Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has been handling his team's rough season, even though fans have been clamoring for Garrett to get angry on the sidelines.
Jerry Jones on Jason Garrett managing anger: "You see very few redheads that aren't about to blow up inside when somebody's not doing right"— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) December 15, 2015
The Cowboys are still alive in the NFC East and face a must-win game Saturday at home against the 8-5 Jets.
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SB Nation presents: The best and worst of Week 14, from Doug Baldwin to Dez Bryant