The Washington Post

Dez Bryant tantrum doesn’t bother Tony Romo, Jerry Jones

Dez Bryant was no Calvin Johnson on Sunday, but maybe he should have been targeted more often. (Duane Burleson / AP)

Dez Bryant wasn’t often the target of Tony Romo’s passes Sunday and he let everyone on the Dallas Cowboys’ sideline know about it.

While Calvin Johnson was burning up the field, only five passes had been thrown Bryant’s way through roughly 3 1/2 quarters. After scoring a TD that gave the Cowboys a 13-10 lead in the fourth quarter, Bryant went off on offensive coordinator Derek Dooley, Romo, Jason Garrett and Jason Witten. Good thing Jerry Jones wasn’t on the sideline.

On the next offensive possession, Bryant wave his hands, but Romo hit Terrance Williams with a pass — a 60-yard TD pass. Afterward, Bryant and Romo hugged it out on the sideline. Then, a little later, Bryant had his moment when Romo found him for a 50-yard TD pass. Afterward, the Cowboys professed to be more concerned with their 31-30 loss and 4-4 record than with Bryant’s histrionics.

“My passion is always positive.” Bryant said (via the Dallas Morning News). “I’m not saying anything wrong. I’m not saying anything bad. It’s all positive. I’m expressive on the field and off. Even when I look angry, it’s all good passion. I feel that’s what I need. I love this game. In order to win you have to be passionate about this game. You have to let that dog come out and put it all on the line.”

Sometimes, it might be good to keep the dog on a leash, but we digress. Witten, who’d tried to calm Bryant mid-tantrum, shrugged off the incident.

“We were all upset,” Witten said. “But there was still time left. I tried to communicate that. We were going to get the ball back, and he was going to play a big part in the play we had drawn up. We were trying to get him to calm down, because we were going to try to get him the ball on that play.

“I love that kid like a brother. He’s emotional. The guy loves to play, loves to win. There are no hard feelings. He’s a great receiver and plays his tail off week-in and week-out. It’s a disappointing loss. Dez is a guy who plays with his heart. We all do. Those things come up.”

Nothing more to see here. Move along, Romo says.

“He’s a competitive guy,” Romo said (via the Detroit News). “He’s never complained to me about getting the ball. He knows that the ball is going to go where it’s supposed to.  When you guys sometimes see emotions from Dez, it’s just trying to ‘rah rah’ more than it is being a ‘me’ guy.”

And Jerry?

“That’s emotion and I don’t place any issue on his demeanor or his sideline activity,” Jones told the Morning News. “He’s a very emotional player and this was a tough game for him to compete in because he wanted to really contribute and do everything he could for the team and to win. I have no issue at all in terms of criticizing him for sideline demeanor or sideline behavior.”

ESPN’s Ron Jaworski took issue with Bryant’s passion. “Your passion can’t be directed at your teammates; your passion must be directed with your teammates.” But Noted Cowboys Fan LeBron James had Bryant’s back.

The bigger issue for the Cowboys is their defense. As Rick Gosselin of the Morning News put it, “If the Cowboys defended the Detroit Lions as aggressively during the game Sunday as they defended their mercurial receiver Dez Bryant afterward, they’d be heading into Halloween with a three-game winning streak.”

H/T Guyism for the Gif work

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.



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David Larimer · October 27, 2013