IRVING, Texas (AP) — Dez Bryant and Jason Witten shouted at each other in a sideline scene that overshadowed a stunning loss, with the potential to reverberate if the Dallas Cowboys let it linger.
Bryant's antics are the least of the problems for Dallas, with a defense facing more injury issues after allowing a last-second touchdown and the most yards in franchise history in Detroit's 31-30 win on Sunday.
The offense is sputtering, too, after consecutive hit-and-miss games without brittle running back DeMarco Murray, who is likely to return Sunday against Minnesota.
"When you put your guts out there for three hours, collectively, sometimes it's hard to swallow those kinds of defeats," coach Jason Garrett said. "What we need to do as a football team is learn from what just happened and find a way, in all three phases, to win this kind of game, and do what we need to do to win the game. They did that and we didn't and we have to live with that, but we have to learn from it."
Bryant first lost his cool by interrupting a sideline chat between Tony Romo and quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson, with Garrett and receivers coach Derek Dooley trying unsuccessfully to act as peacemakers.
It didn't seem to bother the offense because Dallas went on to score consecutive touchdowns on a 60-yard throw to Terrance Williams and a 50-yarder to Bryant.
The Bryant-Witten spat came with 12 seconds left and the offense waiting to go back on the field after Detroit's go-ahead score, a product of the frustration of the Cowboys letting a win get away so late. Witten told reporters after the game he "loved that kid like a brother."
"Witt was trying to get me to focus on the next drive," Bryant said during a lengthy session with reporters Monday. "He's trying to get my mind right. I'm upset because they just scored a touchdown. Like, man, we just, you know, lost. It didn't sit well with me."
Bryant's histrionics didn't bother Dallas owner Jerry Jones.
"It's not an issue," Jones said. "I'm not trying to make light of it. But he's a very passionate player and he competes and works and does all the things that gives him the collateral to use with his teammates and with me relative to a few awkward moments on the sideline. He's bought enough slack with me."
Tyron Smith's critical holding penalty when the Cowboys were trying to milk the clock for a field goal gave the Lions just enough time to go 80 yards in less than a minute without a timeout for Matt Stafford's winning 1-yard lunge.
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