We saw former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin complain about the number of passes that went Dez Bryant’s way. Irvin said quarterback Tony Romo needs to throw him the ball more to give him a chance to play like Lions receiver Calvin Johnson. Irvin also pointed out that rookie receiver Terrance Williams had two catches but 10 targets.
Former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman is pumping the breaks on that idea. Aikman says that Irvin was successful against double teams because he ran good, precise routes. That is something Dez could work on and learn from Irvin.
“Michael Irvin got doubled a lot, and there’s routes that are very good vs. double coverage. But you then have to run good routes,” Aikman said Thursday on KTCK-AM 1310 and KTCK-FM 96.7, via the Dallas Morning News. “And if you’re not running good, precise routes then it’s hard to try and fit balls into tight spaces when you’re a little unsure where a guy is going to be.”
“To me, what I’ve seen of Dez, what I’ve watched on film, that’s where he has to get better,” Aikman said.
“He’s extremely competitive when the ball is in the air. And when people challenge him, that’s when he’s at his best…But when there are guys around him, and there’s safety help, his routes are not as precise. He’s not nearly the route runner Michael Irvin was.”
Bryant has been known for being a player who makes plays after getting the ball in his hands. Much like a punt returner. Improved route running could really expand his game.