One of the biggest plays of the Ravens’ 31-29 win over the Cowboys was a failed pass to Dez Bryant on a two-point conversion attempt with 36 seconds left to play.
The pass was right on target from Tony Romo, but it went through Bryant’s hands and fell incomplete. Bryant shot up after the play pleading for a flag on Ravens cornerback Cary Williams with the officials, but he got none. The Cowboys would recover an onside kick and get in position for a 51-yard field goal attempt that Dan Bailey missed.
After the game, Bryant explained why he thought it should have been a penalty on Williams.
“I felt like it was a P.I. My opinion,” said Bryant, via Robert Klemko of USA Today. “Not saying I couldn’t catch it, because I feel like I can make difficult catches. But I feel like he put his arm around me. I haven’t seen the play yet. But it wasn’t called.”
Watching the play live and on several replays hasn’t left me swayed by Bryant’s opinion. There’s a little contact as Bryant makes his break, but it doesn’t look like a penalty at the point when Bryant was trying to catch the ball. It’s one Bryant could have and probably should have caught.
Williams also isn’t buying what Bryant is selling. Williams said he made the play and Bryant didn’t before laying into Bryant for complaining about the lack of a flag.
“He needs to step up and be a man. You can’t be a baby about stuff. You’ve got to man up. It’s one on one. Mano-a-mano. I got you. Sometimes you’re going to win. Sometimes you’re going to lose,” Williams said. “You’ve just got to be a man and accept responsibility, give credit where credit is due. If it was me I’d say, you know what, he made the play and I didn’t. Bottom line. Don’t complain and look for a flag, man.”
Bryant had a productive day with 13 catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns. His drop was one of two late errors, abysmal time management cost the Cowboys a chance to move closer before Bailey’s field goal attempt, that wound up making the Cowboys losers on a day when a lot of things went well for them. Mistakes in key moments have been a Cowboys hallmark for too many years. So far, this hasn’t been the year that trend changed.