IRVING, Texas — A day after his sideline tantrums made national news, Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant said he doesn’t think he went too far.
“I don’t think I did at all,” Bryant said the day after the Cowboys’ stunning 31-30 loss in Detroit. “Like I said, man, I’m very passionate about this game. That will never change. That’s what made me, that’s the kind of guy that I am.”
Bryant was caught by TV cameras in two separate incidents. In the first, Bryant appeared to interrupt a sideline meeting between head coach Jason Garrett, quarterback Tony Romo and quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson.
The other incident showed Cowboys tight end Jason Witten shouting at an obviously upset Bryant, with defensive end DeMarcus Ware ultimately stepping in to calm down the receiver.
When Bryant met with reporters Monday at the team’s Valley Ranch practice facility, he again insisted that his outbursts were positive in nature.
“I think everybody in this locker room knows where my mind and knows where my heart is at,” Bryant said. “It’s all about winning.”
However, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett did meet with Bryant after the game to discuss his behavior.
“Dez is a very passionate guy,” Garrett said. “Dez is as well-liked a guy on our football team by his teammates and by the coaching staff. He’s very passionate about the game, he loves football, he loves this football team, and he wants to win.
“One of the things he has to learn is to channel all that positive stuff, all that positive emotion. He has to channel it and focus it to the task at hand. That’s something we talk to everybody on our football team about. It’s really important you’re able to do that, go to the next play, get yourself ready for the next situation.”
Bryant said that’s what Witten was attempting to do when the two were shown after Detroit had taken the lead with 12 seconds left.
“Witten was trying to get me ready for another play. I’m pissed about the drive, because they went down and scored,” Bryant said.
Bryant said he didn’t think either incident affected the game, and that he wasn’t trying to get more passes thrown his way. Bryant was targeted six times and caught three passes, two for touchdowns.
“All Witten was doing was trying to get me focused and trying to get me ready for the next play. It was just kind of heated because they scored,” Bryant said. “What I was saying to Romo, Terrance [Williams] just scored a touchdown and I was like, ‘If they’re going to play him like that, keep throwing him the ball.'”
But appearances are everything, which was the message Garrett delivered to Bryant in their postgame meeting.
“He’s matured a lot in the last 3 or 4 years, since he’s been with our football team, and that’s an area where he has to get better,” Garrett said. “That’s something we addressed with him during the game, that’s something we addressed with him after the game.
“But you never want to take away that passion, that spirit that he has. Again, he’s as highly respected and well-liked a guy on our football team that we have.”
Bryant said there’s no rift in his relationships with Witten or Romo, neither of whom were available to the media Monday.
“Oh man, let me tell you something, our relationship is great, [with] Romo, Witten, anybody on this team,” Bryant said. “When you’ve got situations like that in a game, things tend to get a little crazy.”
But Bryant did say that he understands how his behavior on the sideline Sunday could be misunderstood by outside observers.
“Big time. There’s no anger at all,” Bryant said. “Me and Witten, we laughed and smiled. We even joked about it whenever we got on the bus.
“If we would have won, I guarantee you, probably none of this would have even mattered. But we didn’t. I’ve just got to do a better job of understanding how things can look when they’re really not.”