Until the next time, and there will be a next time, because with Dez Bryant there is always going to be a next time, here’s the postmortem on the mouth that roared in the Motor City:
If the ball is not coming Dez’s way at least 10 times a game, with at least a dozen preferred, then Tony Romo and/or Bill Callahan are not doing their jobs.
Six times in Detroit was not acceptable, nor should it ever be.
But despite my man love for Dez, the receiver, everything else involving Bryant’s sideline antics last weekend was also not, in any way, acceptable.
I don’t care how much it’s been sugarcoated since then, starting in the postgame locker room in Detroit, Dez was totally out of control and totally out for himself with that stupid display. It made everyone look bad — head coach, quarterback, and mainly Dez his own self.
Bryant has got to be a better teammate than that, although in no way should he be labeled a bad teammate. He’s just...
Well, he’s Dez.
But let’s review the national and local uproar that followed this week, with also some fan reaction thrown in:
•Overblown by the media.
This is bullspit. Well, mainly bullspit. I did see an extensive ESPN breakdown that included three sideline scenes meant to discredit Dez. There were only two, based on my view from the press box at Ford Field.
The network showed a third exchange with Romo that was actually positive (following Romo’s touchdown pass to rookie Terrance Williams). So put that third one in the overblown category.
Otherwise, the national and local media reported it as it happened, with plenty of condemnation for Bryant. And rightfully so.
If, oh, say, an Ian Kinsler goes off like that in the Rangers’ dugout, it’s a major story. If, oh, say, a Shawn Marion goes off like that on the Mavericks’ bench, it’s a major story. I’m not suggesting Kinsler would, or Marion would, but the media reporting on Dez was not overblown.
•It was really only positive emotion. The media blew it.
No. And no.
The second Dez scene, at the end of the game after the Lions had gone ahead, was as negative a display as it gets. That was total immaturity on Dez’s part, so much so that super people like DeMarcus Ware and Jason Witten were drawn into it.
The first scene, this one with Romo sitting on the bench alongside quarterback coach Wade Wilson, looked worse than it was, at least based on film from NFL.com. At no time was Dez heard screaming for the ball or dog-cussing Romo.
But it comes down to one thing: perception.
Perception was reality. Dez was being disruptive on the bench in the middle of a game.
Even Bryant was smart enough to admit this week, “I know what it looked like, but that’s not what it was.”
It doesn’t matter what it was, it’s about one thing:
What it looked like. Disruptive is what it was.
And no matter the words coming out of Bryant’s mouth, common sense says Dez was not being that animated and vocal because he wanted to see Williams or Witten have more passes thrown their way.
That fool Eldorado Owens (who knew he was still alive?) somehow got quoted this week on the race issue, saying Tom Brady’s bench outbursts during New England games are treated differently compared with the criticism heaped on Dez.
Even a couple of emailers checked in with me on that, also citing Witten’s anger on the bench in Detroit, which happened before his testy exchange with Dez at the end of the game.
Go back and look. Witten was completely different from Dez because he didn’t involve teammates or coaches.
A man with that many rings can have his say anytime, anyplace. But go to Google on Brady. Again, totally different on the way he handles his sideline anger than what Dez did.
Dez should not be mentioned in the same sentence with Brady, but race card references in this case are, again, total bullspit.
“Michael always had sideline rants.”
Yes, Mike had plenty of them. But not once did I see him get in the face of his quarterback or his head coach.
When Mike wanted the ball it was the late, great Hubbard (Ax) Alexander who got an earful. Ax was Jimmy Johnson’s longtime receivers coach, and someone Mike had known from their days at the University of Miami.
Ax had the perfect personality — laid-back — to deal with the talkative Irvin.
In no way should Michael Irvin in his day be compared to what was on display in Detroit.
•You’re picking on Dez. What about the defensive collapse?
Based on the grab-bag secondary, the Cowboys had on the field at the end of the Detroit game, there’s an explanation — not an excuse, an explanation — on why the Lions went 80 yards in 50 seconds without a timeout.
There had been an injury wipeout in this game at cornerback and safety.
Outside of frustration, ego and immaturity, there’s no legitimate explanation for Dez’s antics at the end of the game, nor that bench scene earlier in the second half.
Stop making excuses for this guy. That’s his problem. Too many people have always made too many excuses.
Otherwise, get my man Dez Bryant the damn ball.
As a matter of fact, do it the first thing Sunday.