Regardless of the specific words Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant used during his multiple sideline tantrums on Sunday against the Lions (and because we’ve heard only some of the words, some people think we’ve heard all of them), it’s clear that Bryant was out of line.
The gesticulations and aggressive movements may have reflected passion, but in that setting a display of passion (which ordinarily is a good thing) becomes as misguided as a “passionate” member of middle management jumping onto the big table in the conference room and flailing his arms while screaming at other members of middle management.
Instead of admitting he was out of line, Bryant said he was merely being passionate — and every member of the organization who has spoken about the situation has set the stage for future outbursts of “passion” by saying they had no problem with Dez doing what he did.
Already vindicated by the owner of the team, Bryant’s behavior has now received the endorsement of his quarterback, Tony Romo. Sort of.
“Does he need to sometimes maybe look a little different for what’s going to be written and talked about? Sure,” Romo said Thursday, via ESPNDallas.com. “Does it really matter in here? No. He’s a positive guy who loves his teammates. What else do you want? He’s passionate and he comes to work every day with a great attitude.”
Did you notice that? Before endorsing Dez’s behavior, Romo admitted that Bryant should “sometimes maybe look a little different.”
So while most have projected the idea that Romo has unconditionally backed Bryant, Romo’s support came with a key caveat. Romo realizes that Dez shouldn’t be expressing his passion in a way that objectively appears to be disruptive or disrespectful.
While the Cowboys predictably have circled the wagons publicly around Bryant, it’s safe to say that, behind closed doors, Bryant surely has been cautioned against the potential problems that can arise from a guy whose body language suggested that he was frustrated because his mouth had written a check prior to the showdown with Megatron — and the lack of balls being thrown his way was making it impossible to honor it.