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Dez Bryant: The ref really wasn't listening to me

Dez Bryant left himself wide open for a custom pair of goat horns when he charged onto the field to protest a pass interference call against the Cowboys late in Sunday's Wild Card matchup against the Lions.

It was *the* pass interference call, of course, one that Bryant vociferously believed officials got wrong. They eventually came to the same conclusion, picking up the flag, much to the chagrin of Lions fans and conspiracy theorists across America.

After the game, Bryant was asked why he felt compelled to insert himself into the middle of the fray, leaving himself vulnerable to a potentially killer unsportsmanlike conduct foul.

"The ref really wasn't listening to what I was saying," Bryant said following the Cowboys' 24-20 victory, according to "I gave him my opinion. I thought it was a bad call. He was blocking me out and telling me to get back (to the sidelines) and the coaches, they were grabbing me. Since the play was dead, I thought it was OK."

Many believed Bryant should have been penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for running on the field without his helmet to argue the call. NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino told Around The NFL on Monday that officials wouldn't have been wrong to do so.

"It's not an automatic penalty. I think the rule that relates to a player taking off his helmet, that's only a player on the field," Blandino told Gregg Rosenthal in a phone interview. "The helmet doesn't matter. It's the official's discretion whether they felt that he was out on the field confronting them in an unsportsmanlike way. In that situation, the officials had some discretion and they felt that it didn't warrant a penalty. They just moved him back onto the sideline."

Bryant said he received plenty of tweets from fans that believed he had helped changed the officials' mind on the penalty call.

"Truthfully, I just want everybody to know, I had nothing to do with that," he said with a smile. "There's a lot of hate but I understand we're the Dallas Cowboys, so we're going to get that. I thought it was a bad call. Everybody thought it was a bad call."

Yes, but maybe in a different way than Bryant sees it.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Wild Card game and looks ahead to the Divisional Round. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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