Dez Bryant reportedly was upset about playcalling, not getting the ball
The video of Dez Bryant‘s emotional sideline outbursts during the Dallas Cowboys’ 31-30 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday didn’t tell the full story of his behavior, nor did the audio shared by NFL Films a day later.
Bryant likely was not as negative as both sideline videos made him look, nor was he as innocent as the audio seemed to make him out to be. Both were missing key parts. The reality is Bryant’s actions were probably a mix of positive and negative. And the driving force behind his anger reportedly was his unhappiness with playcalling and not getting the ball.
Speaking on ESPN’s “NFL Live” on Tuesday, reporter Ed Werder said that Bryant was upset about not getting the ball on a 3rd-and-10 play when he went over to Tony Romo late in the third quarter. Werder says Bryant interrupted a meeting Romo was having with a coach on the sidelines when he came over. Werder also says wide receivers coach Derek Dooley pointed out that Bryant did the wrong thing on his third down route.
And even though the audio of Bryant exonerated him in the eyes of many, I was still waiting to hear what he said when he got into it with Jason Witten after the Cowboys blew their 30-24 lead in the final minute. Many could speculate that he was upset with the team for blowing the lead, but Werder reports that Bryant was upset with the playcalling on Dallas’ possession before the Lions scored the winning touchdown.
The Cowboys ran the ball three times and then kicked a field goal to go up 30-24. The first two plays got the Lions to burn their final two timeouts. Dallas had a 3rd and 14 at the 35 and played for a field goal instead of going for a first down. Werder says Bryant was upset they didn’t throw the ball on third down, which led to his outburst that involved Witten.
And then you have the theory posited by Tom Jackson, who believes Bryant was frustrated that Calvin Johnson was outshining him and acted out. I suppose everything mentioned factored into the episodes. I’m sure many people still will say it’s good that Bryant wants the ball in his hands, but there are better ways of expressing that.