After failing to make an impact in Week 1, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant could be in for quite the test Sunday against the Washington Redskins.
There is a good chance that cornerback Josh Norman will be tasked with blanketing Bryant in coverage. The Cowboys are expecting this matchup to be on display all game long.
“Yeah, just because he was talking about going against the No. 1 receiver, following the No. 1 receiver,” Bryant said when asked if he expected Norman to cover him, per Nick Shook of NFL.com. “I’m pretty sure he’s going to get that opportunity Sunday.”
It’s worth pointing out that Norman wasn’t on Antonio Brown last week very often, as he stayed on one side of the field.
That said, if Norman is the guy tasked with shadowing Bryant, the receiver welcomes the challenge of going up against one of the NFL’s best.
“I want the challenge just like (Norman) wants the challenge,” Bryant told reporters Thursday. “It’s going to be a fun game Sunday. Mutual respect from each other. We’re just going to go out there and put on a good game. It’s not about me or him, it’s about each other’s team.”
Playing against Washington hasn’t always brought out the best in Bryant, though he has had some success.
Dez Bryant's last five games against Washington show quite a mixed bag. pic.twitter.com/EpgDr5fBi8
— Sportsnaut (@Sportsnaut) September 16, 2016
It’s worth pointing out that Bryant was shut down to a large degree last year when the Cowboys took on the Carolina Panthers, too. He was held to two catches for 26 yards last year in the game that Tony Romo ended up breaking his collarbone for the second time in 2015.
If Norman does indeed cover Bryant for the majority of the contest Sunday, then it will be fascinating to see if he gets the better of the receiver once again. It will also be interesting to see if they engage in a battle of words.
Josh Norman on trash-talking w/ Dez Bryant last year: "We got over that hump. That was last year. I don't feel the same way as I did then."
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) September 14, 2016
Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott showed excellent chemistry with Bryant during the preseason, but it was missing in Week 1. Prescott targeted Bryant five times, but they only connected once for a total of eight yards.
Needless to say, it’s imperative to get Bryant going to avoid dropping to 0-2.