POSTED: Sunday, May 2, 2010 - 3:21pm
UPDATED: Sunday, May 2, 2010 - 5:10pm
Dallas Cowboys coach Wade Phillips praised wide receiver Dez Bryant on Sunday while also passing along
some advice. Phillips said Bryant showed a lot of potential during the team's three-day rookie minicamp but also told the first-round pick - as well as the other 25 rookies, eight first-year prospects and three tryout players - to be sharper when they join Cowboys veterans for the primary minicamp in June. "I think we got over the point we needed to, and that is they need to get physically better when they come back, and mental,"
Phillips said. "We threw a lot at them mentally. When I sent them home, that's what I told them, that's what we've got to have when they come back here." Bryant struggled with his conditioning, and also slightly turned
an ankle during the last few plays of Sunday's drills. But Bryant also made some spectacular catches, although against defensive backs with no NFL experience. "Dez Bryant is an absolute talent," Phillips said. "You don't get to be around that many players that come in and look that good that early. ... He's pretty natural, got great body control, great hands, quickness, power and speed." Adding to Bryant's NFL education was a personal pep talk after Saturday's practice from Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin, who won three Super Bowls with the Cowboys and still lives in the area. Bryant is wearing the No. 88 made famous by Drew Pearson and Irvin. Five of the Cowboys' six draft choices had full participation this weekend, with fourth-round safety Akwasi Owusu-Ansah sitting out while he heals from shoulder surgery. In addition to Bryant, Phillips also liked what he saw from second-round inside linebacker Sean Lee, who shed two knee braces over the weekend before being fitted for a custom brace he felt comfortable wearing on the final day. "Most of our draft choices certainly looked like we thought they would look on the field, which was important," Phillips said.
The first two days of the minicamp were conducted at the team's headquarters at Valley Ranch before shifting to Cowboys Stadium for the wrap-up to allow the rookies to experience the billion-dollar venue where they'll play home games if they earn a roster spot.