Jason Garrett was asked about the Cowboys' desire to obtain a veteran wide receiver this offseason.

The head coach was quick to point out the team already has one: No. 88.

"We consider Dez Bryant a veteran receiver," Garrett said. "He's played a lot of games for us and played at a very high level. He's certainly a strong veteran presence for us."

At the tender age of 25, Bryant finished 2013 with 13 touchdowns and 1,233 receiving yards. In comparison, Cincinnati's A.J. Green, also 25, had 1,426 yards and 11 touchdowns. Antonio Brown, another 25-year-old receiver, had eight touchdowns and 1,499 yards.

Bryant isn't alone when it comes to young men being asked to lead passing attacks. The Cowboys just haven't done it in a while.

The team has employed several veteran receivers over the past 10 years, including Keyshawn Johnson, Terry Glenn, Terrell Owens, Patrick Crayton, Roy Williams and Miles Austin.

There was always some young player coming up the ranks, preparing to take over. And when that time came, the Cowboys normally kept a veteran round.

It might not happen in 2014.

The Cowboys are depending on Bryant, who is entering his contract year, to produce bigger things than he did last season. He earned his first Pro Bowl berth while catching 93 passes last season.

There were growing pains such as the sideline confrontations in Detroit and Bryant's early exit from the field against Green Bay. Bill Callahan, last year's playcaller, didn't help Bryant enough. Bryant had a three-catch game in Detroit and a one-catch contest at New Orleans. In Chicago, he had just two catches.