Rant overshadows Dez Bryant’s play for Cowboys

Posted Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Dez Bryant is not going to apologize for his antics on the sideline. He’s a passionate and emotional player who is driven to win. Something, he said, that has been going on since he first stepped on a football field.

So, yes, he’s going to get into animated and sometimes heated conversations with teammates and coaches that TV cameras will catch. He had a couple with quarterback Tony Romo and tight end Jason Witten in the second half of the Dallas Cowboys’ 31-30 loss to the Lions on Sunday afternoon at Ford Field.

And there will be more throughout his career, he said.

“I love this game. I love my teammates,” Bryant said. “That’s what it is. It’s going to forever remain the same. It started in Pop Warner, went to middle school, went to high school, went to college, and it’s here. It’s going to stay that way. It won’t change.”

Nobody in the Cowboys’ locker room has any issues with Bryant wearing his heart on his sleeve, either. Jerry Jones, Jason Garrett and his teammates all approve of it in a positive light, saying passion is necessary to succeed in the NFL.

Bryant’s first sideline outburst came late in the third quarter. The Cowboys’ defense had forced another turnover as Barry Church knocked the ball loose from Calvin Johnson and Brandon Carr recovered. Thanks to a nice return by Carr and a Lions penalty, the offense started on the Lions’ 35-yard line.

The offense, though, didn’t capitalize. Joseph Randle gained no yards on the first play, Romo’s pass to Bryant on second down fell incomplete, and Romo had another incompletion on third down.

The Cowboys settled for a 53-yard field goal by Dan Bailey and a 13-7 lead. Bryant was visibly upset on the sidelines afterward, barking at receivers coach Derek Dooley and Romo.

“The discussion we had was basically… our defense is stopping them,” Bryant said. “We’ve got to put up points and all that stuff. That’s all it was.”

Said Romo: “He’s never complained to me about getting the ball. He knows the ball is going where it’s supposed to. He knows that. ...He wants the ball because he thinks he can help us win, but he’s never going to come to me and just make that a point. That’s because he’s a good teammate.”

On the next offensive drive, Romo and Terrance Williams connected for a 60-yard catch-and-run. Then Bryant got involved in the scoring action with a 50-yard touchdown reception that gave the Cowboys a 27-17 lead with 6:45 left.

Bryant also made a remarkable one-handed touchdown catch in the second quarter, but those plays were ultimately overshadowed by his sideline demeanor.

When the Lions pulled ahead with 12 seconds left, Bryant showed his frustration and had a heated exchange with Witten and DeMarcus Ware.

“[Witten] just wanted me to calm down a little bit,” Bryant said.

Bryant didn’t get the ball early on. His first action came on a reverse run in the second quarter, and he had only one catch in the first half. He finished the game with three catches — two for touchdowns — and 72 receiving yards, being targeted by Romo six times.

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison

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