Tony Romo, Jerry Jones, Jason Garrett and Jason Witten were all in agreement that the sideline histrionics by Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant on Sunday was a positive outburst by a “passionate” player and not a childish “give me the damn ball” tantrum.
On Monday evening, the NFL released audio of the outburst, which occurred in the Cowboys’ loss to the Detroit Lions, and it was a little less a tantrum and a little more like a receiver, quarterback and offensive coordinator trying to work out their timing in an emotional, on-the-fly way. (You can hear the entire thing on NFL.com.)
At first, Bryant is waving his arms and yelling that “we can’t let them do that. They [are] playing me [expletive] up. We destroy that.”
Bryant, who slammed his helmet and interrupted a confab between Romo, Garrett, offensive coordinator Derek Dooley and QBs coach Wade wilson, thinks he can beat the Lions’ press-man coverage on a deep pass. Romo, along with Dooley, warns Bryant to watch how the safety is rolling on him. Bryant shakes off both Witten and Garrett to talk with Romo and adds, “It’s over on that last one.”
A little later, Dooley reminds Bryant that the play “looks open, but they [are] coming over the top” which is why Romo isn’t throwing downfield to him. Bryant is indeed passionate about the Cowboys’ plays and about winning the game.
“We busted our [butts] not to win this [expletive] game,” Bryant screams.
About that, he is right. The Cowboys let another victory escape their grasp and fell to 4-4.
What was not revealed on audio was the interaction between Bryant and Witten, who were separated at another point by DeMarcus Ware. Both downplayed the incident after the game.
“Don’t think that I know there’s not a million and one cameras out there on that field,” Bryant, who did admit he was “upset,” said Monday (via ESPN Dallas). The thing about it is, this is a football game. You can’t worry about who’s watching, who’s paying attention. It’s all about motivating, trying to get guys’ minds right and things like that. And basically that’s what it was. For the most part, that’s what it was, especially with the Romo situation. I don’t know how that came about. I got done talking to Romo, I went down to talk to [wide receiver] Terrance Williams and tell them, ‘You know what, they keep you like, keep killing ‘em, keep killing ‘em, keep killing me.’ And so I see he broke out for how long was the touchdown? 60 yards?”