Dez Bryant is entering his third year in the league -- and whether he's aware of it or not -- he can't keep playing the enigmatic phenom forever.
"I just feel like I'm stepping up, doing my job, being accountable, making sure that I'm doing the right things so the people that are under me can do the right things," he said Wednesday, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "So you can say, somewhat of a leader."
And while labeling yourself "somewhat of a leader" is hardly Churchillian, give Bryant credit for realizing that teammates do notice how he operates.
"I feel like I'm leading by doing my work, playing hard, trying to take every rep, doing every rep at full speed, 100 percent of the time," he said. "I feel like by me doing that, the younger guys are seeing it."
On balance, Bryant has been a productive receiver for the Cowboys, finishing last season with more than 900 yards and nine touchdowns. But Bryant's potential is starting to give way to expectations. The Cowboys are going to need more from their former first-round pick to justify their investment.