He played in only nine games and caught just 31 passes for 401 yards and three touchdowns. He wasn't the dynamic receiver he'd been the first five years of his career.
Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin believes Bryant will be Bryant again in 2016.
"No doubt," Irvin said when asked if Bryant could return to prominence. "Last year was a great experience. Not on output and everything but on levels of understanding what it takes and all of that. And Dez will tell you that himself. And not just from Dez's perspective, but from also the feeling and the atmosphere going into the season is important and now everybody, I believe, is back on track of feeling like, 'Boy, something can happen here. Something can happen here.' Going into last season with all of the situations going on in the offseason, that wasn't the feeling."
Bryant had bone graft surgery in January to add bone to his surgically repaired right foot. He did not take part in team drills in the offseason program but was worked in slowly. He said the foot feels great and he will use the time before training camp to work out more. He and quarterback Tony Romo have plans to work out together as well.
"Constantly training," Bryant said. "Getting in the best shape I possibly can be in."
Bryant plans to be a full go the first day of training camp but it is possible the Cowboys will work him into full action over a few days.
Irvin said the difference between Bryant in 2016 and the receiver that led the NFL with 16 touchdown catches in 2014 will be mentality.
"He has to make sure he's feeling good about himself," Irvin said. "He has his quarterback back there. He'll be fine. I know he's looking for a great year with all those things going into the season. [Mentality] will be the difference. Knowing it's structurally good, he'll be good. Knowing it's strong enough to do certain things, you'll be good. Getting yourself to say you're free to do all those things is the key. You've got to feel that."