In terms of talent, Dez Bryant is among the best wide receivers in the NFL. In terms of being a good, solid team player, a man, he is not worthy of mention in the same sentence as Calvin Johnson. The proof of such was on display Sunday.
No doubt, Bryant felt pressure to perform Sunday, after telling everyone that he could do anything Megatron could do, and do it just as well. And perform he did. Bryant caught one of the more spectacular touchdown catches you will ever see. It was a one-handed, reach back across the defender, tip-toe along the sideline end zone grab and a thing of sheer beauty. Later, Bryant would catch a short pass along the sideline, make a defender miss and race down the field for a long touchdown.
Meanwhile, Johnson quietly accepted the challenge and put up historic numbers. He caught 14 passes for 329 yards, the second most in NFL history. He systematically dismantled and destroyed the Dallas defense. Because of his efforts, and those of his quarterback, the Lions beat the Cowboys despite being -4 in turnovers.
It was a ridiculous loss for the Cowboys and was made all the more shameful by Bryant’s childish antics on the sideline, as he verbally went after quarterback Tony Romo, QB coach Wade Wilson and head coach Jason Garrett. Bryant put a spin on it afterward, saying all of his words were positive and he was just passionate, but the picture told a story that says he is a damn liar.
Former Ravens coach and Fox analyst Brian Billick sure wasn’t buying Bryant’s BS:
“We talked about the class of Calvin Johnson,” Billick said. “This is the point Dez Bryant has to understand. This serves no purpose. If I’m the coach of the Cowboys you have to get this under control. This temper tantrum, I don’t know what else to call it, Dez Bryant, want to help your team? Grow up.”
Added play-by-play man Dick Stockton: “Wade Wilson didn’t even want to look him in the eye.”
Later in the game, cameras caught Witten, who apparently had enough of Bryant, giving the temper-tantrum throwing prima donna what for. DeMarcus Ware was seen stepping in as a would-be peace-maker.
Cowboys fans can celebrate Bryant’s skill, but to deny that he is a selfish knucklehead (not unlike Terrell Owens) is disengenuous and dishonest. Bryant giveth with his talent and taketh away with his sorriness as a human.
He is not now and likely will never be worthy to carry Calvin Johnson’s Gatorade bottle when it comes to being a man, a real, sensible, team-oriented, worthy-of-honor man.
Of course, the Cowboys players, coaches and owner all came to Bryant’s defense after the game, talking nonsense about passion and heat of the moment and such. Any one of them would have been happy to choke the punk during that heat of the moment, if they could have gotten away with it. How tiresome it must get always having to defend the actions of a jerk, just because he is a talented jerk.
After his heated exchange with Dez, Jason Witten later defended his mercurial teammate:
“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.”
Funny. Even in his defense of Dez, he tells us he was trying to calm Dez down by telling him that he would be a big part of the next drive. Witten had to appeal to Dez’s selsifh nature to try and get the guy calmed down, but then he says Dez is a team player. Doesn’t compute.
Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News said it pretty darn well…
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.
Like most every Cowboys fan, I am a fan of Bryant as a football talent. I am no fan of him as a human…and I would trade him for Megatron any day and never regret it.