Dez Bryant, Jason Garrett

The Dallas Cowboys are relying on the return of Dez Bryant, the adjustments on defense and the adaptation of Matt Cassel to save their season. Another loss, fifth in a row, might mean that Tony Romo coming back isn’t going to help; it’ll be too late by that point.

The Cowboys have lost four games in a row since losing Tony Romo to injury. Three of them with Brandon Weeden and one with Cassel at quarterback. Except for their slightly humiliating home loss against the New England Patriots, the Cowboys had a shot at winning those games, at least until a certain moment in time. But they’ve gotten key defensive players back. They’re getting their best offensive player back. The running game is operating. It’s time to get a W.

Bryant wants to play as much as possible despite being out since week 1. The Cowboys prefer monitoring his touches, snaps and overall activity, limiting it. Considering they’ve invested a lot in one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, it’s reasonable to think they don’t want to throw him right into the middle of a very physical secondary like the Seahawks. Maybe, behind closed doors, the Cowboys already know this is a lost cause, a lost season.

Unless Cassel surprises them. He has shown he’s willing to take more risks than Weeden, and he’s going to have an option capable of making a defense change, although the Seahawks are a bit too arrogant to use double coverage. They’re relying on a slightly declining Sherman (or simply going through the same motions his entire team is) to stop Bryant, and make his return unnoticeable.

The Cowboys saw glimpses of a functioning, consistent offense in the loss to the New York Giants. Darren McFadden suddenly looked like the kid who came out of Arkansas. It looked like the only thing missing was a quarterback who doesn’t make more mistakes than plays. Cassel, on rare occasions during his career, has been that kind of player. The Cowboys need, or more accurately are desperate for him to be that player again.

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