Everyone's talking about what Dez Bryant did on the sidelines Sunday.
But what's way more interesting is what his teammates and coaches did in response.
That was largely their answer to the Dallas receiver's ranting and raving during a loss to Detroit. Sure, Jason Witten eventually had enough and confronted Bryant, prompting DeMarcus Ware to step in and separate the two, but for the most part, teammates and coaches ignored Dez.
It's just further evidence that the Cowboys have decided to put up with whatever Dez does.
We already had a pretty good idea that was the case. In less than four seasons with the Cowboys, he's been booted from an upscale mall for not pulling up his pants, been sued for thousands of dollars of jewelry that he didn't pay for and been charged after an incident with his mother where he allegedly hit her in the face. That charge was ultimately dropped, but it prompted Jerry Jones to set some rules for his superstar receiver.
No strip clubs.
A midnight curfew.
Round-the clock chaperone.
It's ridiculous, really. A grown man with 24-hour supervision. Bryant, of course, had an extremely tough and well-documented upbringing — and Oklahoma State should be commended for largely keeping him on the straight and narrow during his time in Stillwater — and maybe that means he needs to be cut some slack.
Clearly, Jerry Jones has decided that Dez is good enough to be given a lot of slack, and Sunday afternoon, you saw that the Cowboys have come to grips with that fact.
The guy is going to go off the deep end every now and again, and they're going to have to live with it.
Dez threw his first fit after a field goal that gave Dallas a 13-7 lead. He threw out his arms and started yelling at Derek Dooley, who wasn't interested in engaging with him. Dez reached out to try to stop the wide receivers coach, but Dooley kept walking.
So, that prompted Dez to storm over to the bench. There, he interrupted a conversation between head coach Jason Garrett, offensive coordinator Wade Wilson, quarterback Tony Romo and Witten. The future Hall of Fame tight end actually walked away as soon as Dez started ranting.
He seemed to be saying, “Not this guy again.”
Everyone else's reactions were equally telling. Wilson wouldn't look at Dez, and Garrett put a hand on his chest but pretty much ignored him, too.
The two coaches actually kept talking as though Dez wasn't there.
Romo finally said something to Dez, who pointed and gestured a little more before finally stalking off. Before he could take even two steps, Garrett, Wilson and Romo had returned to their conversation.
Truthfully, I didn't have a problem with that outburst from Dez. We've seen eruptions like that before, even from the likes of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. It was passionate — regardless of what Dez said — and sometimes, a team needs an emotional kick start.
But Bryant's second outburst was a different story.
It happened with only 12 seconds remaining in the game. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford had just lunged over the goal line for what appeared to be a go-ahead touchdown, and as officials reviewed the replay, the Cowboys' offensive players prepared on the sidelines. Most had their helmets on, and Romo was going around talking to them.
As he reached Witten, both had their attention drawn down the sideline. It was Dez, ranting and raving again. Romo motioned and said something, then walked away.
This time, Witten didn't.
He walked toward Dez, taking off his helmet as he did. Witten got in Dez's face, pointing first to the scoreboard, then to the locker room while saying, “Go ahead.”
Eventually, Ware stepped in and defused the situation.
I can totally understand why Witten let Dez have it the second time and not the first. The second time, the Cowboys still had a chance to go out and win the game. Yes, it was a slim chance, but it was a chance. For a miracle to happen, everyone needed to be focused on what they needed to do.
Instead, Dez was losing his head.
And as Witten said after the game, Bryant was going to be the target on the Cowboys' desperation heave.
That second tantrum showed that Dez didn't have his head in the game. It showed a complete lack of professionalism, and that's why Witten, the consummate professional, let him have it.
It was telling, though, that after the game, Dez was backed by everyone in the Cowboy locker room. His boss. His coaches. His teammates. Even Witten toed the company line and said Dez was just a guy who plays with his heart.
Playing with your heart is great, but playing with your head is kind of important, too.
Dez Bryant is a fantastic talent. He does things that only a couple other guys on the planet can do.
See, his one-handed, against-the-helmet David Tyree-esque touchdown Sunday.
That talent is why the Cowboys put up with his antics, no matter how embarrassing or damaging or down right childish they may be.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.