When officials overturned Dez Bryant’s 28-yard catch in the second quarter, all the Dallas Cowboys’ star receiver could do was shake his head and walk off the field.
“I’m not going to lie to you,” Bryant said. “When they said no catch, I’m like, ‘Forget it, man. It’s not a catch. Move on.’ I feel like that is what I was doing the whole game. You’ve got to move on. You can’t dwell on strange situations. You’ve just got to keep hoping for the best and keep going out there and continuing to play the best that you can.”
It turned into “one of those days” for Bryant.
Bryant, whose non-catch in the playoff game at Lambeau Field in January became one of the most infamous plays in NFL history, had a day to forget.
Matt Cassel targeted Bryant six times. Bryant made one catch for 9 yards, despite cornerback Sam Shields leaving the game with a concussion in the second quarter.
“Of course, I wish things were done differently,” Bryant said. “It is what it is. There was some opportunities I had I should have made like the one in the third quarter, and I’m jumping when I shouldn’t even jump. That’s all part of keeping your head in the game.”
Bryant had at least two drops, and Fox’s telecasters gave him a third on a pass that bounced off one of Bryant’s hands in the end zone and turned into an interception.
“He has great hands,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s a great receiver. Unfortunately, there were some opportunities today that we weren’t able to cash in on.”
Bryant said he changed gloves three times because of the steady rain, and Garrett admitted Bryant was “fighting” to catch the slippery ball.
“Just trying to stay focused on the game and the game itself, not trying to pay attention to the weather conditions,” Bryant said. “I’m not going to lie. I’m not making excuses. I’m telling you what really happened. What really happened is I swapped out my gloves three times. I wish I never put gloves on in the first place.
“It is what it is. It’s an opportunity we can’t get back. All I can do and us as a whole can do is learn from it and move forward and get better. That’s it.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the game plan was to get Bryant involved early and often. But Cassel and Bryant didn’t connect on a slant after the Cowboys reached the Green Bay 2 on their first drive. The ball, thrown high as Cassel unloaded it quickly with the max blitz bearing down, bounced off Bryant’s hand and landed in Shields’ hands.
“It’s a timing thing,” Bryant said. “And I knew Matt was getting flushed out a little bit. When I came around, it was too late. I was trying to find him, but I couldn’t find him. The ball came, and it was a little too high. If I would have seen him, I would have gotten my whole body underneath it. But things happen.”
Bryant appeared to make a circus catch, taking the ball away from cornerback Damarious Randall with 7 minutes left until halftime. But the third-and-5 conversion to the Green Bay 34 was overturned after a Packers challenge, with replay showing the nose of the ball touched the ground.
“It’s was a tough, difficult play,” tight end Jason Witten said. “Dez is the ultimate playmaker. He’s as good as there is in this league at going up. It’s just a tough play to make, and fortunately it’s been those types of breaks.”
Bryant, who missed five games with a fractured right foot, has only one 100-yard game this season. His 9 yards receiving was the second-fewest he has had in a game in his career, trailing only the three catches for 8 yards he had against Detroit as a rookie in 2010.