Dallas Cowboys put up with Dez Bryant's antics

Everyone's talking about what Bryant did on the sidelines Sunday. But what's way more interesting is what his teammates and coaches did in response. Nothing.
by Jenni Carlson Published: October 28, 2013
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photo - Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant and quarterback Tony Romo (right) talk on the sideline after an argument in the second half of Sunday’s matchup against the Lions. Photo by Brad Loper/Dallas Morning News/MCT
Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant and quarterback Tony Romo (right) talk on the sideline after an argument in the second half of Sunday’s matchup against the Lions. Photo by Brad Loper/Dallas Morning News/MCT

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.

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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