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Can Dez Bryant Finally Get to a Conference Championship Game?

The haven't been in a Championship Game since 1996 after the 1995 season. 25 years of disappointments and bad luck. For a team as popular and as talented as the Dallas Cowboys have been at different times since their last championship game, it's always shocking that they haven't found a way to break through.

And it's not because they haven't had their opportunities. They've come close. While they won't have an opportunity to change the narrative this season, one former Cowboys great will be playing for a shot to make a championship game this weekend; Former Cowboys .

Dez Bryant, the Cowboys all-time leader in touchdown receptions, came close on two occasions to help the Cowboys break through that divisional round ceiling. Both games came against the and both had varying circumstances that led to their defeat.

Facing the Packers at in the 2014 divisional round, the Cowboys were playing that game close to the chest, as was the style of 's smash mouth football teams. Things were going well until the NFL's league leader in rushing yards, fumbled the ball and the Packers were able to recover. The Cowboys were driving on that series and had a great chance to score. The fumble hurt, and it set the stage for a play that will live in infamy forever. The Dez Bryant “catch” at the end of the game.

Then in 2016, with rookies and leading the way, the Cowboys got off to a slow start, falling behind 21-3 early in the second quarter. The Cowboys rallied thanks to an epic performance by Bryant who caught nine passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns. It was Dez's play in the second half of that game that helped the Cowboys tie it late before an incredible catch by along the sideline set up 's game-winning field goal.

But now, a resurgent Dez Bryant has an opportunity to break through that divisional round glass ceiling with the . Though he didn't register a catch in the Ravens win over the , he's still getting his legs back under him after getting bumped to the in late November.

Prior to his first game action this season, Bryant hadn't played since 2017. That's a long stretch to be out of football. With a Ravens team that wants to run the ball with , JK Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Mark Ingram, Bryant's blocking ability fits right in.

It is to be determined how much playing time Bryant will get, however facing an explosive that is putting a ton of points on the board lately, this could be a game where Bryant gets a lot more opportunities if the Ravens are having to play catch up.

Even though he hasn't played a down for the Cowboys in three years, Bryant remains a beloved figure in both the locker room and with the fan base. In a great matchup Saturday night between the Ravens and the Bills, Bryant's opportunity to get to a conference title game for the first time provides a reason for to tune in.

John Williams
John Williams
Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could. Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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