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Deion: Dez Bryant only Cowboy who plays with that passion

  • By NFL.com
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Dez Bryant's sideline spat during the Dallas Cowboys' 31-30 loss to the Detroit Lions added insult to injury.

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In an animated sequence late in the third quarter, Bryant lost his cool and directed his anger toward Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. The star wide receiver apparently was angry that he wasn't being targeted much (he had just two catches to that point).

NFL Media's Deion Sanders, who has a relationship with Bryant, jumped to Dez's defense Sunday.

"He is the only guy on that team that plays with that kind of passion. The only guy," Sanders said on NFL Network's "NFL GameDay Highlights. " ... At certain times he shows immaturity. (However), you can't want the passion, mental toughness and aggressiveness on the field but not want it off the field.

"I guarantee you he is yelling about the way his team is performing ... and ball distribution," Sanders added.  " ... You can't ask for his passion and intensity in certain areas of the game but not really want it when it is really going down."

Bryant was targeted just six times in the game by Romo despite recording 72 yards and two touchdowns on three catches. After Romo apparently missed him on a wide-open route late in the third quarter, Bryant erupted. A furious Bryant trotted over to Romo on the sideline while wagging his finger and screaming.

Deion wasn't alone in coming to Bryant's defense, either. NFL Media's Michael Irvin, a Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee and Cowboys great, shed some light on the sideline blowup on NFL Network's "NFL GameDay Final."

"I talked people in Dez's camp and people with the Cowboys' camp, and the way they see this, it is passion on the sideline," Irvin said. "Guys are telling me that (Dez Bryant and Tony Romo) guys were embracing on the bus ride and going to the plane talking about it.

"(People on the bus were) talking to Dez about it, (saying) 'We don't have any problem with it. We just want to make sure that the passion is directed in the right way.' You have to know how to address that kind of passion."

The sideline quarrel was a dramatic scene that made headlines Sunday and even caused Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to address the situation. Sanders, though, doesn't feel the incident will be a distraction.

"I don't believe so, because I feel like he is the only guy in the city of Dallas that Cowboy fans can identify with," Sanders said. "He is really the only guy that plays with that type of passion and intensity. I love Sean Lee. I love what he brings to the table. But offensively, he is the only guy that you have."

Irvin, on the other hand, agrees with Sanders in saying that the passion and intensity is necessary, but the elder No. 88 believes Bryant needs to vent his frustrations in a more mature manner.

"I truly will talk to Dez about this," Irvin said. "You can't go after the quarterback. I have never gone after Troy (Aikman). Search all you want, you will never find tape of me going after Troy. I am going to talk to Dez about this same thing.

"Get everyone else going, but you walk quietly up to Tony and say 'What is going on buddy? Can you get me the ball a little bit better tonight?' And talk to him a little bit better. I will address that with him."

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