In this case, a video clip of Dez was there for the world to see —apparently, maybe saying “That’s what you get!” while Seattle Seahawks receiver Ricardo Lockette lay motionless on the field near the end of the first half after a brutal hit.
I had seen the video before walking into the locker room after the Cowboys’ 13-12 loss against the Seahawks and thought the headline did not conclusively match the video. I also acknowledge the clip looks slightly terrible.
Before any member of the media could or tried to ask Dez a question, he went Beast Mode on us scum in the evil press.
“Let’s get real — I understand our situation. C’mon with it,” he said. “Look at the tape right. … One last thing: I won’t ever, ever, ever, ever wish bad on a player that’s being knocked down. C’mon man — stop with the bull[stuff]. Not once I said, ‘That’s what you get.’ I got on one knee and prayed for that man.”
The video suggests fairly conclusively that is what he said. What it does not suggest is to what he was referring, or when. There is too much unknown to say that Dez Bryant was mocking an injury. If he was, then he is scum. I don’t believe either.
Dez might never work for NASA, but there is no way he was taunting or celebrating what at the time appeared to be a serious injury to a player from an opposing team.
He brings some of this on himself with the occasional immature outburst, but to suggest some of the things that have been said and written are just needless and wrong. He is simply a star player caught in the new, unfair world of 24/7 media that simply does not care if it’s right, wrong or even close.
For the record, I asked Dez exactly what did he say.
“That had nothing to do with [Lockette],” he said. “We were going back and forth. Man on my daughter’s soul I would never in my life do that to anybody. I could have been talking about something completely different. I am too busy trying to break it up; to get our players back.
“I am telling [Seahawks defenders] Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, ‘Hey — get your players back.’ I was more talking to the officials than anybody.”
A Cowboys staffer told me Dez called Lockette after the game to check on his status, which is that he suffered a concussion. He is staying overnight before returning home.
Dez’s re-telling of this scene might not be completely accurate, but to suggest that he was celebrating an injury is too much to believe. Or even suggest.
After the media broke away he said, “Whoever said that, whoever wrote is some dirty [fill in the blank]. I’m for real — that really [hacked] me off. That ain’t right. That is not right. That is not right.”
I asked Dez if he was talking to noted Seahawks’ trash talker, former Texas A&M defensive lineman Michael Bennett, who had taken exception to the hit that laid out his teammate by Cowboys safety Jeff Heath. Bennett had pursued Heath shortly after the hit.
“I was telling Mike, ‘It’s all good. Jeff was not doing it intentionally,’ ” he said. “I was too busy talking to that official. I felt that official was calling some bad calls.”
Dez then proceeded to go into a loud, massive tirade against the media, and that he professed never to talk to us Godless losers again. It was just hot air.
This moratorium likely won’t last, but I can’t blame him if it did.
Whatever you think about this man, he has been real, genuine, accommodating and he cares in a way you hope your favorite player would care about his job. His execution has ranged from good to brutal to terrible, but this is not a bad person.
You can blame him for some of his childish antics, but you can’t blame him for being irate at some of the things that have been suggested about him.
This is the same media that said Dez was going to miss 10 to 12 weeks with a broken foot. The same media that said there is a “Ray Rice” like videotape about Dez from years ago. That was just from this year.
Who cares if it’s wrong? Just keep throwing it out to sound like “an insider” and the law of averages says maybe one of these charges will stick.
If you want to say he should keep his mouth shut at certain times and keep his temper in check, both are appropriate. And they are mostly benign.
But don’t say there is some videotape out there, or that he was celebrating an injury to an opposing player, before you are absolutely sure.
Listen to Mac Engel every Tuesday and Thursday on Shan & RJ from 5:30-10 a.m. on 105.3 The Fan.