The Dez Bryant Experience included a little bit of everything on Sunday. The Dallas Cowboys' dynamic wide receiver produced an incredible one-handed touchdown catch but was also involved in two fiery, sideline spats with teammates.
In the second quarter, Bryant rose over a trio of Lions defenders and pulled down a 5-yard touchdown pass from Tony Romo using just his left hand. The score staked Dallas to an early 10-7 lead over Detroit. This impressive effort showcased the physical prowess that made Bryant a first-round selection in the 2010 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma State.
Unfortunately for Bryant and the Cowboys, this jaw-dropping grab would not be the highlight everyone was still talking about after the game. It wouldn't be Bryant's second touchdown grab either because Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford plunged into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown with just 12 seconds remaining after a fake spike.
Potentially worse for the Cowboys, this catch won't even the moment involving Bryant generating the most conversation on Monday. With Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson racking up a historic number of yards and the Cowboys struggling to generate points after Bryant's sensational touchdown grab, he was spotted arguing with Romo and quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson on the sideline during the third quarter.
“We talked about the class of Calvin Johnson,” FOX announcer Brian Billick told viewers, via The Dallas Morning News. “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.”
The 24-year-old wideout was later spotted venting his displeasure on the sideline after the Lions scored their go-ahead score in the final moments. This time, someone barked back. Tight end Jason Witten gave Bryant an earful before turning him over to DeMarcus Ware.
(GIF via @BuzzFeedSports)
After the game, Dallas owner Jerry Jones defended Bryant.
“That’s emotion and I don’t place any issue on his demeanor or his sideline activity,” Jones told NFL.com after the game. “He’s a very emotional player and this was a tough game for him to compete in because he wanted to really contribute and do everything he could for the team and to win. I have no issue at all in terms of criticizing him for sideline demeanor or sideline behavior.”
Bryant chalked up the verbal alatercations to his passion and insisted he's actually a really nice guy, off the field.
"I'm the nicest person off the field," Bryant said after the game, via Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com. "When I'm on the field, even when I look angry, it's still all good passion. It's all good passion. I feel like that's what we need. I'm going to remain the same way. I feel like I love this game. I love it. In order to win, you've got to be passionate about this game. You have to be. You've got to let that dog come out and just put it all out there on the line."