(SportsNetwork.com) - Green isn't Dez Bryant's best color.
No, this isn't about Bryant's wardrobe and Mr. Blackwell's worst dressed list,
it's about the fact the talented Dallas Cowboys receiver was so jealous of the
attention Calvin Johnson was getting from Matthew Stafford on Sunday, he blew
up on two different occasions.
"Megatron" set an NFL regulation-time record with 329 receiving yards on 14
catches for Detroit, which stormed back to beat Dallas, 31-30, when Stafford
lunged in from the 1-yard line with just 12 seconds remaining.
It would be nice to assume that Bryant, like every other Cowboy, was upset
about the heartbreaking setback, but there's little question he was more
concerned about the fact Johnson upstaged him with his monster performance.
It's not like Bryant was bad, either. In fact, he hauled in two brilliant
touchdown receptions but only had three catches overall and was targeted just
six times compared to the 16 looks Johnson got from Stafford.
That lack of attention morphed into a Miley Cyrus-like, look-at-me diva
meltdown, which evidently lies at the heart of Bryant's personality.
Dez's first tirade was the more difficult one to defend, but the second will
be most remembered because veteran Pro-Bowl tight end Jason Witten got in
Bryant's face and called him on his actions.
Dallas was actually on top, 13-7, when Bryant aimed his anger at receivers
coach Derek Dooley and quarterback Tony Romo with the typical "get me the ball"
rant that is a staple of every out-of-touch receiver who can't seem to
comprehend football is the ultimate team game.
Believe it or not, the Lions don't want to target Johnson 16 times in a game,
but Nate Burleson's injury has elevated the underwhelming Kris Durham and Ryan
Broyles to less-than-desirous complements.
On the other hand, with Witten, ascending rookie Terrance Williams, and even
emerging slot receiver Cole Beasley available, Romo can actually look away
from Bryant every now and again, a luxury which actually helps and seemingly is
something his star receiver is not capable of understanding.
The sequel to Bryant's first rant came after Monte Kiffin's defense imploded
in the final minute, but this time the only personalities on the Cowboys'
sidelines strong enough to deal with it intervened. The 6-foot-6, 261-pound
tough-as-nails Witten got in Bryant's face before injured defensive end
DeMarcus Ware stepped in and played the role of Mills Lane in order to settle
the unhinged Bryant down.
"My passion is always positive," Bryant said after the game in an effort to
downplay his actions. "It's always positive. It's going to remain the same
way. I'm not saying anything wrong. I'm not saying anything bad. It's all
positive. That's just what it is."
To any objective observer, Bryant's tantrums were anything but positive and
hardly smacked of constructive criticism, but he wasn't about to apologize for
any of it.
"That's (the media's) problem," Bryant answered when asked how his behavior
looked to people outside the Cowboys' inner circle. "Everybody knows up in
this locker room who I am. It's been that way since Day 1. The day that I got
drafted, like I told y'all, don't get it twisted: I love this game. I love my
teammates. That's what it is."
Then show it.
Winning is difficult in the NFL and you take one anyway you can get it. Style
points are nice but inconsequential at the end of the day, and true competitors
would rather earn a bowling shoe-ugly win than pile up meaningless numbers in
The real greats don't look at numbers, save the ones on the scoreboard when
the final guns sounds.
It was abundantly clear Sunday that Bryant was far more concerned with himself
and his pseudo-matchup with Johnson than his teammates, green with envy
while watching "Megatron" ring up his historic numbers against a soft cover-2
Dez wanted to be the one lighting up fantasy football leagues around the
country and capturing that guest spot on "The League" next season.
No one is saying Bryant wants to lose and it's pretty clear he truly believes
the football in his hands gives the Cowboys a better chance on a weekly basis.
And to be fair, he's probably right. But there is a time and a place for
everything. If you have a problem with your quarterback or the coaching staff,
engage them during the week in Frisco while the HD cameras aren't capturing
your every move.
You get what you tolerate in life and there is a reason the Cowboys have been
mired in mediocrity since Jimmy Johnson skipped town. It's a rudderless ship
and all the so-called leaders lined up to defend the indefensible.
"He's never complained to me about getting the ball," Romo said hours after we
all saw Bryant do exactly that. "He knows that the ball's going where it's
supposed to. He knows that."
Coach Jason Garrett also was in lock-step, although he did at least hint at
"We want guys who want the football," Garrett said. "Dez has never been a
distraction to our football team. He is a really positive asset to our team --
on the field and off. The way he works, his passion for the ball game, that's
Never been a distraction?
The law suits from stiffed jewelers for nearly $900,000 aren't a distraction?
The domestic violence charge for allegedly striking his biological mother
Or how about yelling at his boss and QB on Sunday?
It's fair to say Garrett was far too busy to deal with a petulant child
against the Lions, but afterward he should have addressed this in an honest
fashion. Now, he, Romo and Dooley come off as impotent leaders beholden to the
star receiver, something even Jerry Jones played into.
"I'm not trying to make light of it," the Cowboys' owner said. "But he's a
very passionate player and he competes and works and does all the things that
give him the collateral to use with his teammates and with me relative to a
few awkward moments on the sideline, overexpression of passion. He's bought
enough slack with me."
And maybe that's the problem.
Immaturity is the issue here and Bryant needs to see clear boundaries and
consequences to his actions.
The Sports Network