Dez apologizes, left early to hide his tears

Updated: December 16, 2013, 1:29 PM ET


By
Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com


Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant apologized for leaving the field before the clock ran out in Sunday’s loss, explaining that he didn’t want to be seen crying on the sideline.

BryantI was very emotional. I cried when I got into the locker room. I didn’t want to show that stuff on the sideline.

— Dez Bryant

Bryant left the bench area with 1:21 remaining as the Green Bay Packers were running out the clock in an epic 37-36 come-from-behind victory, having rallied from a 26-3 halftime deficit.

“I was wrong,” Bryant told reporters during a Monday morning visit to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth. “It didn’t have anything to do with my teammates. I just … I couldn’t watch Green Bay kneel the ball down on the field after a tough loss like that.

“I was very emotional. I cried when I got into the locker room. I didn’t want to show that stuff on the sideline.”

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he would discuss the situation with Bryant, who had 11 catches for 153 yards and a spectacular touchdown, on Monday.

“We’ll address that with Dez today,” Garrett said in his radio interview with 105.3 The Fan Dallas-Fort Worth. “I understand why to a certain extent: They’re kneeling the ball, the game essentially is over. He’s an emotional guy; we’re all very emotional about what we do. But he needs to stay out on the field, and I’ll address that with him today, and just explain why it’s important to do that and he’ll understand.”

Garrett described Bryant, 25, as “one of the great team guys I’ve ever been around.”

“He loves his teammates, he loves this team, has a great passion for winning,” Garrett said. “You have to understand how to handle yourself in those situations. He’ll learn from this situation.

Bryant is tentatively scheduled to be a guest on ESPN’s “NFL Live” on Monday (4:30 p.m. ET)

Following an interception thrown by Tony Romo, his second in the fourth quarter, Bryant walked off the field after a review of the play confirmed the pick by cornerback Tramon Williams, effectively sealing Green Bay’s victory.

It’s the second time this season Bryant has made headlines for his actions on the sideline, following outbursts at Romo and tight end Jason Witten that were caught on camera during a loss to the Detroit Lions in October, a game in which Dallas blew a 10-point fourth-quarter lead.

Video released during the week after that game of Bryant’s interactions with Romo seemed to indicate the receiver was trying to encourage the quarterback, not berate him. Bryant later acknowledged that Witten and then-inactive defensive end DeMarcus Ware were trying to calm him down and get him to focus on the Cowboys’ final desperation play, saying they acted appropriately as leaders.

“Whenever I’m out on the football field, it’s all about the team,” Bryant said Monday. “I’m a team guy, and that’s what I think about, and that’s what I focus on. I extremely, extremely apologize for leaving, but my teammates and coaches understand. I am a very emotional player, and we didn’t finish. It [leaving the field] had nothing to do with my teammates.”

ESPNDallas.com’s Calvin Watkins contributed to this report.

  • Joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009
  • Covers the Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavericks
  • Appears regularly on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM

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