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Dez Bryant's lack of targets an indictment of Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys gave up 625 yards of total offense to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Amazingly, that wasn't the most embarrassing aspect of their night.

Dez Bryant -- the NFL's best wide receiver not named Calvin Johnson -- was targeted a grand total of two times in the 49-17 loss at the Superdome. Bryant didn't see a pass come his way once during the first half and finished with one catch.

This wasn't about Bryant's troublesome back, which the receiver said felt "absolutely fine" after the game. This was a fundamental and inexcusable flaw in Dallas' game plan.

"I just do what's asked," Bryant said, according to "That's all I do. I can't answer that."

Give credit to Bryant for not saying anything that would deflect the attention from where it belongs. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and offensive coordinator Bill Callahan deserve to be called into Jerry Jones' office on this one. An explanation is in order.

Romo explained that Bryant was doubled "the entire game, really." This is commonplace for Bryant and all elite wide receivers, of course. We found it telling that Bryant's one catch came following a bit of improv from Romo, who called out for Bryant to swap into the slot position before hitting him with a deep pass down the seam for a 44-yard gain.

That was the totality of Dallas' outside-the-box thinking for the night.

Bryant's disappearing act came on the same day the Detroit Lions -- wholly aware of what they have in Calvin Johnson -- targeted their star playmaker 17 times. This makes sense. Megatron makes plays. The Lions' chance to win increases when you get the ball in his hands.

The same is true of the Cowboys with Bryant. The last time Dallas met the Saints, Bryant was targeted 12 times and finished with nine catches for 224 yards and two touchdowns. We're sure Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan had nightmares about what Bryant could do to his game plan. Instead, the Cowboys let him off the hook.

No wonder Ryan was celebrating in NOLA on Sunday night.

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