FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Dez Bryant may be having a down year in Dallas, but the Jets defense still views the Cowboys’ star receiver as a threat. But according to safety Calvin Pryor, there is one part of Bryant’s game that’s taken a hit: his closing speed.
“I think he’s not looked the same since he had his foot injury, but he’s still a playmaker as well,” said Pryor. “ . . . I don’t think he has the same closing speed. But not to say that won’t happen against us. That’s just some things I’ve seen on film. He’s still a tough cover . . . .It’s still Dez Bryant.”
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Since returning from a foot surgery Nov. 1, Bryant has caught 27 passes for 351 yards and two touchdowns in eight games for the Cowboys (4-9) — but 104 of those yards came in Week 9 against Philly. Bryant, who missed five games because of the injury, caught one pass for 9 yards in their loss in Green Bay Sunday.
But the Jets (8-5) aren’t overlooking the two-time Pro Bowler. Defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers highlighted the effect of Tony Romo’s season-ending injury, adding of Bryant: “We still see that same dynamic player on the field.”
Ryan Fitzpatrick was named the AFC’s Offensive Player of the Week after passing for 263 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in the Jets’ 30-8 victory over Tennessee. This is the second straight week a Jet has been recognized (Brandon Marshall, Week 13).
Fitzpatrick’s performance against the Titans also marked the third straight game in which he’s passed for at least two TDs and no interceptions with a passer rating of 100 or better. (On Sunday, he had a 108.9 rating.)
Giants quarterback Eli Manning also was named the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Week for his performance Monday night against the Dolphins. This is the first time since the 2002 season (Kerry Collins, Chad Pennington in Week 16) that both New York quarterbacks have earned the honor together.
WR Jeremy Kerley (calf contusion) didn’t practice and C Nick Mangold, RT Breno Giacomini and OLB Calvin Pace were limited.