Dez Bryant may not have actually paid $54,896 tab as a rookie

dez-bryantWhen word surfaced that Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin was allegedly forced to pay $15,000 for a team trip to Las Vegas, one person who likely felt no sympathy for the former Stanford star is Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant. During his rookie season, Bryant supposedly had to treat his veteran teammates to a $54,896 dinner.

Bryant was stuck with the massive tab after he refused to carry a veteran teammate’s shoulder pads, so the circumstances were a bit different. However, team owner Jerry Jones indicated earlier this week that Bryant may not have even had to pay it.

“I’ve had to ask a couple of times, a couple of places out here to rethink, let’s say a liquor bill,” Jones said on KRLD-FM on Tuesday morning, via ESPNDallas.com. “They’ve taken a rookie out and hung him with a huge liquor bill.

“I might tell you one of the finest businesses in this town who may have charged one of our rookies too much — well, a lot of money, they just absolutely took it off the bill and gave it to him. When he had an enormous, for any of our standards, charge, that business gave it to him. It was Pappa Steakhouse, to give you an idea. That’s having compassion. It was overdone, and they just decided we’ll make our contribution to the do-right rule here.”

Jones did not mention Bryant by name, but Dez’s supposed hazing took place at the Pappa Bros. Steakhouse. When Jones said he asked a couple of places to “rethink” a liquor bill, he could mean he paid the bill himself or offered some sort of free advertising in exchange. An anonymous Cowboy told ESPNDallas.com’s Calvin Watkins that he heard “Jerry picked it up.”

In reality, this type of stuff happens year in and year out. I don’t think many people are as floored by the Vegas trip Martin supposedly had to pay for as they are by the voicemail Richie Incognito left him.

H/T Black Sports Online

Dez Bryant was ‘shocked’ taking his helmet off led to a penalty

dez-bryantStatistically speaking, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant had a relatively quiet day against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. He was, however, just as animated as usual.

During the third quarter, Bryant was flagged twice on the same play. The first penalty was for offensive pass interference, which Dez thought was a bad call. He then took his helmet off while protesting and was his with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The second call surprised Bryant more than the first.

“I wasn’t angry at the ref,” he told reporters, according to The Dallas Morning News. “I was trying to see what the call was. I thought they called pass interference on the defense. When I was trying to come out of my break, the guy was tugging on me a little bit and I was trying to break away from it.

“He threw the flag and the whole time I’m thinking it’s a flag on him. Then I took my helmet off and I didn’t know that that was a penalty. I was kind of shocked and then I heard the ref say, ‘He took his helmet off.’ I know now not to take my helmet off. If you go back and look at the play, you’ll see I’m shocked. I’m confused.”

Most casual NFL fans could tell you that intentionally removing your helmet on the field results in a penalty, but Bryant supposedly was unaware of the rule. Maybe that helps explain why Jared Allen laughed right in his face when it happened.

Although audio shows there are times when Bryant was being positive with his emotional outbursts last weekend, it’s obvious he needs to do a better job of controlling his emotions. He could have cost Dallas a win with his boneheaded mistake on Sunday.

Dez Bryant wants long-term contract from Dallas Cowboys

Dez BryantDez Bryant is in his fourth season with the Dallas Cowboys and signed through next year, but he’d like to make his stay in Dallas last longer.

According to NFL Network reporter Mike Silver, Dez’s advisor, David Wells, says Dez is “looking forward to” signing a long-term deal in the offseason.

Bryant is making $1.55 million this season and set to earn $1.78 million next season. His original deal was five years for $11.81 million, including a $1.95 million signing bonus.

Pro Football Talk says the Cowboys are $30 million over the salary cap for next season. But as long as we’ve known Jerry Jones, he’s never been someone to let something stand in the way of him paying a player he believes in.

Mike Wallace signed a five-year, $60 million free agent deal with the Miami Dolphins in the offseason for $30 million guaranteed. We’d expect to see Dez get at least that much in a new deal.

Jason Witten: Dez Bryant was not complaining about getting the ball

Dez Bryant Jason GarrettDez Bryant‘s emotional sideline outbursts during the Dallas Cowboys’ loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday have been a hot topic of conversation this week. Analysts ripped him for acting like a child, but NFL Films audio showed Bryant saying some positive things during what were perceived as temper tantrums. Bryant also insisted he was just being passionate and that there was nothing negative about it.

Jason Witten, one of the people that appeared to get into it with Bryant on the sideline during the fourth quarter, defended Dez on Tuesday. According to the veteran tight end, Bryant was not complaining about getting the ball.

“There’s nobody I love playing with more on Sundays than Dez,” Witten told KTCK-AM 1310 and KTCK-FM 96.7 The Ticket, via The Dallas Morning News. “I was just reminding him there at the end there was still hope, still a chance and that he kind of just needed to let it go and let’s get focused back on these final few seconds.

“Wasn’t about getting [Bryant] the ball…that’s not what kind of guy he is…that’s why we love him.”

Witten and Bryant appeared more animated with each other than Bryant and Romo were. Witten’s explanation makes sense, as the Cowboys still had time for one final Hail Mary after the Lions’ go-ahead touchdown and would have needed Bryant’s size and hands on that play.

From everything we have gathered, it sounds like Bryant’s outbursts were a combination of positive and negative emotion. We’d still like to hear the full audio. The video replays clearly don’t show enough.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Dez Bryant reportedly was upset about playcalling, not getting the ball

Dez Bryant meltdown

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.

Audio shows Dez Bryant was positive to Tony Romo, coaches

Dez Bryant Tony RomoNFL Films released some audio on Monday that shows Dez Bryant was being positive at one point when he erupted on the sidelines in the third quarter of the Dallas Cowboys’ 31-30 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

I characterized Bryant’s sideline behavior when he got in the face of Tony Romo and his coaches as a “meltdown” and said he was “flipping out on everyone on the Dallas Cowboys sideline.”

Dez defended himself after the game saying he was just showing his passion and that he wasn’t going to change. His teammates and coaches backed him up.

The video from the NFL, which you can see here, seems to be edited and shows that Bryant was getting really animated over what kind of routes to run and how to best attack the Lions defense. It also shows Bryant was being positive to Romo at one point.

“We good on that, Tony!” Bryant yelled to Romo. “We the best in the NFL on that. We the best in the NFL!”

It was wrong to assume based on the visual that Bryant flipped out on everyone when he might not have. But the video shows he did have an emotional meltdown when he obviously spiked his helmet in anger/frustration and appeared to give Romo a look of disgust at first.

Unfortunately, this video is edited and doesn’t appear to show everything. It still looks to me like Dez was pissed off at Romo at first.

I also want to hear audio from the sidelines of what Dez did after the Lions scored that led to Jason Witten getting in his face. I don’t think NFL Films has that, but it sounds like Dez threw a fit over his team giving up the lead, and Witten was just trying to get him to focus on the rest of the game. It was Dez’s behavior at the end of the game that led to me calling him an “I guy.” My point was EVERYONE on the team was upset about them blowing the lead but he was the one who seemed to act out the most. I didn’t call him an “I guy” for his thing with Romo because at that point we didn’t know what he was ranting about.

This also brings up another point. Just like it’s wrong of me and others to make assumptions based on a video, it’s wrong of TV networks to show footage of sideline behavior without the accompanying audio. As we have learned, the power of visuals is very strong and can influence the perception of many. The millions of viewers watching the games only know as much as what we’re shown. If that isn’t shown on TV, nobody knows that anything even went on and we don’t have a chance to jump to poor conclusions.

Tom Jackson: Dez Bryant threw fit because he realized he’s not as good as Calvin Johnson

Dez Bryant Jason GarrettThere 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.

[Related: Dez Bryant and Jason Witten fight on sidelines (GIF)]

“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.

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