Dez Bryant threw his mouthpiece, and then a left hook, toward Tyler Patmon during a prolonged and heated practice fight Sunday.
The scuffle lasted about five minutes and Bryant didn’t calm down until quarterback Tony Romo intervened. Sorry, Joseph Randle, your peacemaking skills still need some work.
Afterward, the two Oklahoma State products hugged it out and declared all is well.
“Oh man, just two great competitors going at it,” said Bryant, who left the field initially without comment before coming back on his own to talk about the incident.
“We were chirping a little bit back and forth early in practice. At the end of the day, that’s what you want. I got a little overheated. But at the end of the day, that’s something you really need on a team to try to win ball games.”
Bryant admitted he had been talking quite a bit of trash to Patmon throughout the day, particularly on the play before the fight broke out. It carried over to the following play in which Jason Witten caught a pass from Romo. That’s when it all broke loose and, at one point, the fans started booing Bryant who wouldn’t stop going after Patmon.
“He wasn’t going to back down; I wasn’t going to back down,” Bryant said. “At the end of the day, you’ve seen us. We shook hands; we hugged; we respect one another.
“You have to like it. You don’t want somebody weak on your team. That’s why Patmon is here. Patmon was undrafted, and you know he is fighting his way, and he is fighting for respect, and he’s got mine. You can go to war with a guy like that any day of the week.”
These sorts of things happen often during training camp, especially early on when players are get the pads on. But it’s rare to see it drag on as long as this one did.
“[Bryant] is a fierce, fierce, fierce competitor who plays with a lot of emotion, and so is Patmon,” executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “That’s what you love about this team. You want this competition going on; you want a competitive atmosphere there, and we certainly have got some of it.”
Bryant understands that he is under a different microscope than most players. He is known for his animated antics on the sidelines, and this is no different. He had separate skirmishes with teammates Orlando Scandrick, J.J. Wilcox and Randle last year.
Social media was buzzing about the fight as it broke out, but Bryant said there is no such thing as being too animated.
“It’s all me,” Bryant said. “I love this game, I love competing. I’m very prideful and that’s what you need to win ball games. Patmon did what he’s supposed to do.”
Afterward, Patmon repeatedly declared it over, saying it’s all in the family.
“It’s just brothers fight,” Patmon said. “That happens sometimes. We got at it. After that, we squash it, and it’s over.”