The Dallas Cowboys wide receiver hauled in 12 receptions for 145 yards, but it wasn't perfect, according to the fans in Big D. Bryant was razzed for skirting out of bounds to avoid contact on a second-quarter catch. The play was beamed out repeatedly on Jerry World's massive replay screen and showed Bryant narrowly missing the first-down marker.
"I was hearing it. I was," Bryant told USA Today. "Man, that hurt my heart."
Bryant explained his thinking: "When I seen where we was at, I was like, 'Damn.' I didn't mean to do that. It's not like me. It's not like me to run out of bounds. I seen like four or five guys coming, so I took a step out. I didn't see the first-down marker. That's my bad. I should've known where we was at on the field."
Bryant made up for it in the second half, catching nine passes against a Browns secondary forced to play special-teamers as coverage corners through much of the game. Owner Jerry Jones offered only tepid praise, saying Bryant's big day doesn't etch him permanently into Cowboys lore -- not yet.
"In general, I feel that Dez is maturing everywhere," Jones told The Dallas Morning News. "Now that's not to say that he won't go out there and run the wrong route. We don't want him running the wrong route off the field. But the point is, without trying to be cute, Dez is improving, but the risk here is that he's in the glaring spotlight of being on the field for the Cowboys and off the field for the Cowboys, so I'm reluctant -- we all are -- to say, 'Boy, he's doing good.' Dez is doing better."
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.