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Josh Norman, Dez Bryant share respect as rivals

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Against all odds, two of the league's most mercurial players are sharing a mutual appreciation for one another instead of spending the week trading barbs through the media.

"The feeling's mutual," Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant said when told Redskins cornerback Josh Norman said Bryant brings out the best in him. "He has earned his respect in this league. When you go up against a guy like that, you're going to have bring your best because if you don't, he'll get the best of you."

After Norman spent the entire offseason disparaging the other great wide receiver in the NFC East (Odell Beckham) -- and spent Monday biting his tongue after his own defensive coordinator didn't allow him to trail Antonio Brown -- it's amazing that there seems to be a friendship here, especially when you consider that they started out as enemies.

Sunday's matchup between the Cowboys and the Redskins will be fascinating to watch because the wide receiver-cornerback battle will take center stage. Bryant is looking to get rookie quarterback Dak Prescott's attention after hauling in just one catch for eight yards against the Giants last week. Norman is looking to be a bigger part of the game plan after just two targeted matchups against Antonio Brown in a season-opening loss.

Those converging interests will hopefully come together in a game that could mean disaster for the loser. While the NFC East is by no means an insurmountable climb for an 0-2 team, the division is worlds better than it was a year ago. A team like Washington migth not be able to emerge from the slog late in December and decide to win it all.

Norman and Bryant will play a big part in deciding which team rights the ship. Hopefully we can at least hear a few barbs between the two along the way.

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