Report: Dez Bryant ‘not all back,’ but cleared for drills

Dez Bryant’s road to recovery is paved with smooth stones at this time. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports Bryant is “not all back” but that his X-rays came back looking good enough for him to start doing drills and increase cutting.

There is still room for caution, however.

As much as Bryant would like to be able to practice in full at this time, his long-term health is of utmost important. Besides Tony Romo, Bryant is the single-most important player on Dallas’ offense.

When healthy, there aren’t many receivers in the NFL that can match all the things Bryant can do on the field. Whether he’s breaking off a simple slant for 80 yards, taking a screen pass the distance or catching a long bomb, he’s always a threat to score.

Bryant’s 2015 campaign was a grave disappointment. But he was at his best in 2014 when he caught 88 passes for, 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns. Bryant himself expects to eclipse those numbers when he returns to action this year.

“Man, I’m not even trying to [get back] to 2014,” he said, per Jon Machota of SportsDay. “I’m past that. I’m going to be better than that. I’m going to. The way we’ve been working, the way the coaches have been on us, the way we’ve been holding each other accountable, I think that alone is going to make us all be better than what we were in these past years.”

If the Cowboys can get another season like 2014 out of Bryant, they’ll be well on their way to recovering from an awful 2015 campaign. Adding running back Ezekiel Elliott was a huge piece to the overall puzzle, but Bryant will remain the team’s primary big-play machine.