The first of Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant’s rants was mild by comparison, just your run of the mill yelling at the quarterback and the receivers coach.
The next one had a little more heat behind it, as he jawed back and forth with tight end Jason Witten, to the extent that injured teammate DeMarcus Ware stepped between them.
But after the fact, and after the Cowboys lost a crushing 31-30 decision to the Lions, Bryant wasn’t about to apologize.
“My passion is always positive,” Bryant said, via Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas.com. “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.
“I’m the nicest person off the field. 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.”
There was barking, and maybe he felt a bit like a chihuahua after his own good day three catches for 72 yards and two touchdowns) was eclipsed by the true big dog in the neighborhood (Calvin Johnson’s 329-yard event).
But he said he didn’t care how the outbursts were received.
“That’s [the media’s] problem, because everybody knows up in this locker room who I am,” Bryant said. “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.
“It’s going to forever remain the same. It started in Pop Warner, went to middle school, went to high school, went to college, and it’s here. It’s going to stay that way. It won’t change.”
Tony Romo shrugged off the first one, saying Bryant was more concerned with team welfare than his own stats, pointing out they scored touchdowns on the next two drives. Likewise, the man who signs the checks didn’t mind either.
“Not in any way did it concern me,” owner Jerry Jones said. “It’s not a negative for our team. Matter of fact, when he started that as I saw timing-wise, we started playing better on our offense and the defense didn’t hear it. They were out on the field. It’s not an issue.
“I’m not trying to make light of it. 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.”
As long as he continues making plays, most teammates will accept it as part of the package.