Josh Norman eager to shadow Dez Bryant


Josh Norman circled today's date when the NFL schedule came out during the offseason. No, not because he was anticipating cramming his face with stuffing or guzzling down gallons of gravy. Instead, Norman has been looking forward to his head-to-head matchup with Dez Bryant.

Every game, all season

Norman is performing at an All-Pro level in 2015. The corner knows Thursday's marquee matchup with the Cowboys, in front of a national audience, against one of the best receivers in the NFL is huge to cement his status among the top cover men in the game.

"I don't think anything in life is worth having unless you work for it," Norman said, via the Charlotte Observer. "Dez ... he can do a little bit of everything, so I'm excited for that matchup. He's going to test my abilities and I'll show it back to him and we'll see where we end up at the end of those four quarters."

Norman has allowed a passer rating of just 38.7 this season, per Pro Football Focus, just one touchdown on 61 targets and has consistently shut down opponent's top receiver. Bryant hasn't been fully healthy all season, but even at less than 100 percent Dez marks the toughest matchup Norman has faced this season.

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo admitted he's wary of the playmaking corner, but won't avoid the matchup.

"I don't necessarily believe in not ever throwing at someone," Romo said. "I think what you do is you try and look at his skill set and, for me you want to see what they're really good at and you want to try and stay away from those things and then some of the stuff you find hopefully you can take advantage of.

"You try and put yourself in situations where you can gain an advantage. You look at a lot of things, but you have to be careful. He's a dynamic player who's played well for them."

We're so thankful Romo is back on the field so we can enjoy a true battle between Dez and Norman with a quarterback who isn't afraid to test the dominant corner. What a Thanksgiving treat it will be.