Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys’ Bryant bristles at being shut down by Seahawks’ Sherman in return

Cowboys wide receivers Terrance Williams, left, and Dez Bryant (88) discuss strategy with injured quarterback Tony Romo during Sunday’s game.
Cowboys wide receivers Terrance Williams, left, and Dez Bryant (88) discuss strategy with injured quarterback Tony Romo during Sunday’s game. Star-Telegram

The return of Dez Bryant didn’t go as planned. The Cowboys’ top offensive weapon this side of Tony Romo was essentially shut out in his personal battle with Richard Sherman.

Bryant refused to give the Seahawks lock-down corner much, if any, credit after the Cowboys’ 13-12 loss Sunday at AT&T Stadium.

“Let me get something straight real quick,” Bryant said. “Hey, man, ain’t nobody got locked down over here. Let’s get real. I understand our situation. I understand it. Come on with it. Look at the tape right.”

The tape would reveal two catches for 12 yards on six targets by Matt Cassel. Of the two targets in the first half, Bryant didn’t have a chance on either as Sherman easily broke up both plays.

“We’d love to get [Bryant] more involved and we tried throughout the course of the game, but unfortunately we weren’t able to do much,” Cassel said.

Bryant also got worked up about a video that went viral accusing him of taunting Seattle receiver Ricardo Lockette, who suffered a concussion late in the first half and was taken off the field by stretcher.

“I won’t ever, ever, ever wish bad on a player that’s been knocked down,” Bryant said. “Stop with the [expletive]. Not once did I say that’s what you get. I got on my knee and prayed for the man.”

Bryant wasn’t used as an offensive decoy, as was alluded to in the week leading up the defending NFC champions’ visit. He was out there for the majority of the Cowboys’ snaps, but didn’t make his first reception until the third quarter and that one went for negative yardage.

“Them as a defense as a whole, they had a good game,” Bryant said. “We came out with our game plan. We didn’t execute the way we wanted to. It is what it is.”

Bryant’s return after missing five games with a broken left foot suffered in the season opener might have provided an emotional life before the game. During the game, he was uncharacteristically silent.

Sherman blanketed Bryant all over the field. Wherever the Cowboys’ No. 1 receiver lined up — right, left or slot — Sherman was there. Bryant said he hardly shared any words with the talkative Seattle defensive back.

“Anytime me and Dez play, it is a total battle,” said Sherman, who was credited with four passes defended. “Nothing but mutual respect, but it is a battle every play.”

Bryant acknowledged he wasn’t exactly on the same page with Cassel after a week of practice together.

“I just got back in,” Bryant said. “I’m not a guy that’s going to make excuses. Like I said, I’m a confident guy. On my end, I have to adjust to him and everything he does. I have to get right, and I have to be right for him.”

Bryant said his foot was fine, and the Cowboys expect him to take a more prominent role next week against Philadelphia.

“He had a good outing tonight,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “He’ll get more work, which will help his conditioning. I think he’s full bore next week. I thought that he ran well and cut well.”

Bryant has traditionally struggled against Seattle, failing to score a touchdown in four career games against the Seahawks.

The only stat Bryant was concerned with after the Cowboys’ fifth consecutive loss was their record.

“We’re 2-5,” he said. “We have to live with that, but I’m going to continue to keep saying it’s not over. I honestly believe that in our team. We’re a great damn team.

“We just have to continue to keep fighting. I just know if we keep on fighting and keep on believing, we can pull this thing together and do something special.”