Dez Bryant vanishes again after strong start

ARLINGTON, Texas – For 20 minutes, Dez Bryant looked like the best receiver in the stadium. He might as well have been invisible for the rest of the game.

Bryant had three receptions for 37 yards, including a couple of leaping touchdown receptions, with 10:58 remaining in the second quarter. He didn’t have a reception the rest of the game.

Tony Romo only threw two balls to Bryant in the final 40 minutes. One was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Lions linebacker Bobby Carpenter, everybody’s favorite Bill Parcells Dallas draft bust. The other was ruled an incompletion following a review after Bryant made a juggling catch on a deep ball down the sideline but didn’t get both feet in bounds after controlling the ball.

This isn’t the first time Bryant flashed brilliance early and disappeared for the rest of the game. It’s the same pattern as the season opener, when he had three catches for 71 yards and a score on the first two series and was shut out the rest of the game.

Bryant, who was questionable with a bruised thigh originally suffered in the first quarter of the season opener, didn’t comment. Bryant’s lack of production in the second half didn’t come up in Romo’s interception-intensive press conference.

Coach Jason Garrett didn’t shed much light on why the Cowboys’ most dynamic playmaker didn’t make an impact after a dominant start.

“They didn’t do much different,” Garrett said of the Detroit defense. “Dez made some plays in the first half. We got the ball to some other people in the second half.

“We got some negative plays and got some bad field position at different times in the second half that kind of hamstrung us a little bit. But that stuff happens. Sometimes guys get the ball early. Sometimes they get it late. Sometimes they get it in the middle.”

With a talent like Bryant, you’d like to get the ball in his hands early and often. The Cowboys got the early part down, but Bryant isn’t getting the ball often enough.