Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant said last week that injuries, including a nagging bruised thigh that kept him out of one game and hampered him for several weeks, prevented him from performing to the best of his abilities in 2011.
Owner Jerry Jones suspects that Bryant's conditioning was also a factor last season, Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News reported Thursday.
"I don't know that (injuries) impacted some of the things that he needs to work on, and we need to work on as a coaching staff to get him the ball and get him into plays," Jones said. "When he would lose concentration in the last part of the game, I don't know if that was because of conditioning. I suspect it could've been. That's not (to) be critical, but I suspect that, rather (than) the injury (having) anything to do with that or not, those are the things that we're working on so he can be more impactful in the latter part of the game, and we can do the kinds of things we need to do to get him the ball."
The statistics support Jones' assessment that Bryant was a more productive player in the first half of games in 2011. Bryant had 37 receptions for 558 yards and seven of his nine touchdowns during the first two quarters. After halftime, however, Bryant caught 26 passes for 370 yards and two touchdowns. With Laurent Robinson moving on in free agency, and very little depth at the position, Bryant will need to step up and produce at the level the Cowboys thought he would when they selected him with the 24th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.