Dez Bryant dazzles at practice

IRVING, Texas – With Miles Austin getting a day of rest, it was an understatement to say Dez Bryant was the focal point of the Cowboys’ passing game Wednesday.

In the final team period, Bryant was targeted on seven straight pass plays, coming down with two catches and drawing two pass interference penalties before Jason Witten’s touchdown. Bryant nearly had a third grab but was ruled out of bounds after he made a left-handed snag of a Kyle Orton throw.

Bryant was hoping for a little post-practice instant replay because he felt like he was inbounds on the throw.

“I feel like I push myself to the max and I love it,” Bryant said. “Not only for me, but I want a lot of these younger guys to see how hard you’re supposed to work to play in this league, and also that’s how you win.”

In one-on-one drills, Bryant was able to beat Morris Claiborne for touchdowns with the first coming over the top of the corner and the second on a slant.

“The thing you love about Dez more than anything else is his passion for the game,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He loves to play. He loves to go and get the football. Anybody that watches him practice each and every day or playing in games, you can see that. The big thing you have to do with him and all our players is keep the standard high. You don’t want to all the time being the guy patting him on back. ‘Hey, boy, that’s great. You’re the greatest.’ That’s not the world we live in.

“A good example (Tuesday) in practice, he caught a long ball up the sidelines, but his release was really bad. He got pushed really wide and made the play at the end of it. So what we have to do as coaches is recognize the finish of the play. That’s a positive thing. It was a 50-yard gain. It was a touchdown. At the same time, we’ve got to get that release right. He understands that. He’s the guy when you’re watching the tape afterwards, he says, ‘That’s a bad release, coach. I’ve got to do a better job there.’ We’ve got to keep the standard high for him, really for all our players.”