Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys-Panthers pregame trash talk sparks tough defense on Dez Bryant

Panthers cornerback Josh Norman had a solid game against Cole Beasley and the Cowboys.
Panthers cornerback Josh Norman had a solid game against Cole Beasley and the Cowboys. Special to the Star-Telegram

Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman undoubtedly got the better of Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant in Carolina’s 33-14 victory Sunday at AT&T Stadium.

Norman, the Panthers’ top cornerback and among the elite in the league, put the clamps on Bryant. Against Norman, Bryant caught one pass for 6 yards while having one knocked away and two more hit the ground in the end zone.

According to Norman, Bryant did himself in during the pregame warmups.

Norman said Bryant was talking trash to the younger cornerbacks — such as second-year cornerback Bené Benwikere — and telling them to act like a carrier pigeon and deliver the message to Norman.

Norman, who was inside the locker room getting stretched out, got the word, and from there he went into his mythical “dark place.”

It took 4 seconds of game action for Norman and Bryant to get into it. They were in each other’s faces before Darren McFadden had even been tackled for a gain of 4 yards on the first play of scrimmage.

“The thing is, the crazy part about all that is, he started from the first play,” Norman said. “And after that it was nothing. There’s no pact between lions and men between the white lines. None! And if my intensity is all-out for four quarters and the opponent’s not, that’s not my fault. And I do not shy away from saying that.”


▪ Cam Newton’s third-quarter touchdown rush was capped by a masterful troll job. After receiving criticism for his touchdown celebration two weeks ago, Newton celebrated his 4-yard run by doing dances from the 1950s. He did the Twist, then did the swim before doing the dance “hittin’ dem folk” and his patented Superman pose.

▪ Newton was wearing custom-made Under Armour cleats that showed him doing the dab on the side. It’s unclear if those violate league rules.

▪ Receiver Jerricho Cotchery’s 73 yards were the third-most of his Panthers career. He had 80 against Baltimore last year and 82 against Green Bay this year.

▪ Jonathan Stewart ran 21 times for 68 yards and never gained more than eight yards in a single carry. Dallas, on the other hand, ran for only 31 yards in 14 carries. Carolina has only given up an average of 22.5 rushing yards in its past two games.

Scott Fowler contributed to this report