Tom Jackson: Dez Bryant threw fit because he realized he’s not as good as Calvin Johnson
There has been a ton of analysis regarding Dez Bryant’s sideline outbursts on Sunday during the Dallas Cowboys’ 31-30 loss to the Detroit Lions. Many of the Cowboys coaches and players defended Bryant, saying the behavior was just a manifestation of the receiver’s passion for the game. Others says it’s immaturity and that he needs to grow up.
Everyone with an opinion has weighed in. But one person whose explanation was different and made some sense to me was Tom Jackson’s.
Speaking on Monday Night Countdown on ESPN, Jackson said he felt Bryant threw a fit on Sunday because he was being upstaged by Calvin Johnson. Recall that in the week leading up to the game, Bryant praised Johnson for being the best at what he does, while also saying he can do what Megatron does.
“I believe I can do whatever he can do,” Bryant said on 103.3 FM ESPN in Dallas last week. “I think it’s just a pride thing. When it comes to football, just being on the field, it’s a mindset and having a mentality. I honestly believe when I’m there, I’ll be feeling like there’s nothing I can’t do. Whatever the coaches ask me to do, I’m going to do it.”
Jackson referred to those comments when he said Bryant got a rude awakening.
“What triggered [the frustration] was that previous to that game, he sent out a personal challenge — however inadvertently — to Calvin Johnson that I can do whatever you can do. We translate that to ‘I’m as good as him.’ He found out from 1-o-clock to 4-o-clock that he’s not as good as Calvin Johnson,” Jackson said.
“That is a rude awakening for a wide receiver — I have to admit that I’m not as good as that guy. [Bryant] could have said it about any other guy in the league and probably would have been right on target. Cannot say it about [Calvin Johnson].”
Again, a lot of this comes down to whether you think Bryant went nuts because he wasn’t getting the ball enough, or because the team wasn’t winning, or because the team could have been doing better if they gave him the ball more, which I suppose makes everything connected.
I didn’t really consider that the anger was maybe due to Bryant psychologically being upset about realizing he’s not as good as Calvin, but that certainly would explain his meltdowns. I admit that I absolutely lose it when I realize I’m wrong or that someone is better. It’s very tough to accept at first. And I really don’t care what the Cowboys players and coaches say. That behavior is childish and a distraction. There are other more positive ways to show passion for the game that most players seem to be able to do unlike Dez.