Dez Bryant’s non-catch: Who’s responsible for knowing the rules?


Dez Bryant was robbed by the officials.”

This went through my head while watching the play over again immediately after the officials reviewed a great catch. Getting another score could have put the Cowboys on to Seattle next week, seeing how it was so close to having time run out on the Packers.

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  • It was a great catch; a few years ago, but not this season.

    Everyone who watched the Packers–Cowboys game with their eyes and ears open heard the explanation after the upstairs officials turned over the catch to an incomplete pass. Then an NFL expert explained.

    JDez Bryant and head coach head coach Jason Garrett react after a play was overturned against the Green Bay Packers in the fourth quarter. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports photograph

    He went over it simply and somewhat elegantly, like a well-planned college professor. Almost snapshot by snapshot, he went over the play, telling viewers why the rules turned it. Why didn’t the receiver know how the rules affected the catch? It was a very orderly and complete explanation even the kids could understand as to why it was not a catch according to the NFL rules.

    An interview with Bryant went like this:

    Reporter: “Were you sure you had a catch on that one?”

    Bryant: “I was sure, man, I ain’t never seen nothin’ like dat in my life. I don’t wanna next week whatever … I knew it was mine. We got the coverage we wanted. I wanna say, I don’t believe it. We worked our butts off man, naw, got to just run up the side, an’ he put it to an interpretation. There’s not no … (pause) Der’s no question, man. I never, I took three steps; haven’t you ever seen that rule?”

    Bryant sounded confused but wanting to sound certain he caught it.

    First, let’s give him some credit. Then we’ll touch on the three things Bryant was dead wrong about.

    He should be congratulated for the nice job in going to the Pro Bowl. He had a great year. The Cowboys played a great game and could have won with one or two breaks.

    Here’s the Dez wakeup call:

    Reporter: “Do you mean to say you are perplexed by the NFL’s rules on what is a catch and what is not?

    Bryant, “No-no-no-no-no-no, it wasn’t like that. I was reaching … trying to reach for to get the goal,” he said as he used a few different words to the same meaning as the statement above.

    “All I know, knew it was mine. That’s all I can say.”

    There have been many other games that Lady Luck has been on the side of the Packers; there have been many others when she was not.

    Players must be aware of these changes. It’s their job to know.

    If I had a decent middle-class job paying say near $100,000, I would be damn certain I knew and followed every single rule in the book. It’s being responsible.

    Here we have an NFL starting receiver, Pro Bowl bound, not aware of the ball control rules? He’s played an entire season with the same rule changes from last spring in effect, and he doesn’t have a clue to what went wrong?

    How can that be?

    Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports photograph

    Didn’t the coaching staff go over rule changes with their players? Jerry Jones has been active with that Cowboys team for years, and I find it hard to believe it was not brought up, explained and made certain each and every player understood them, even the linemen.

    And third, how can Bryant go on national television for an interview and use language like he does? College football players are all on a possible road to the NFL. How could he make it through college speaking half slang/half English?

    The communication skills and slang language Bryant uses, shows a disrespect for all the progress man has made in education and society. I guess talent still buys a ticket through it all.

    Bryant was somewhat reluctant to reporters about it all. He could not admit he was not within the rule book, and the ground caused a fumble, making it incomplete.

    Bryant said he didn’t understand what went on.

    “I never seen nothin’ like ‘dat in my life.” Adding: “I can’t believe it. I ain’t ever seen any-ting like ‘dat in my life, naw it’s an interpretation; I was reaching for a touchdown. Clearly it was … a ….there’s no question, man …”

    Bryant had shown a lot of resentment, anger, and lack of understanding. Was Dez Bryant the only Cowboy not aware of such changes?

    We’ll never know.

    And at this point, we really don’t care.

    Have fun at the Pro Bowl, Dez.