Carter: Cowboys star Bryant is running in quicksand

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Former NFL Pro Bowler Cris Carter was blunt when talking about Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant's separation skills, claiming it looked like he was "running in quicksand."

Cowboys Bryant - a three-time Pro-Bowl selection - has 11 catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns in 2017, but since a 1,000-yard season in 2014, the former Oklahoma State star has not eclipsed 50 catches in a season.

Former Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins wide receiver Carter said the reason Bryant is not getting the ball as much as he has in years past has everything to do with him and not the play-calling or quarterback play.

"He's getting one-on-one, not Cover 2, not bracket coverage like the elite receivers get, what A.J. Green gets, what AB [Antonio Brown] gets in Pittsburgh, what Julio Jones gets," Carter said on Fox Sports.

"I'm going to tell you what was shocking to me was the first week of the season when I watched him play against Janoris Jenkins and then at night I watched Julio Jones, and it looked like Dez was running in quicksand, and Julio Jones was running on a treadmill."

Some of that could be chalked up to the offence's move to more of a west-coast style with Dak Prescott at the helm, which includes a lot of routes that Bryant does not specialise in, but Carter did not give him a pass for that.

Hall of Famer Carter said the reason why Bryant is not getting as many catches or targets is that he is simply not giving his QB any room to throw the football.

"The reason why Dez is not targeted a bunch is because Dez is not getting open [then] Dak is not feeding him the ball," the 51-year-old said. "So that's the reason why his targets are down, but he's had one-on-one coverage for three straight games and there's no elite receiver at this point in his career that they would give that type of coverage to and they would have those numbers."