Give Dez Bryant a break and the Lions' defense some credit

Posted Oct 29, 2013

The Lions defense held Dez Bryant and Jason Witten to just five combined catches and under 100 combined yards Sunday

A lot has been made the last couple days of the two sideline outbursts made by Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant during Sunday's loss to Detroit.

Bryant was spotted having animated discussions with quarterback Tony Romo and receivers coach Derek Dooley, and then later in the game an even more vigorous discussion with tight end Jason Witten.

So why was Bryant so animated in the first place?

As the NFL Films audio indicates, some of it was Bryant's passion for the game. A little bit was him trying to motivate his teammates.

But let's not forget it was fueled out of frustration with what the Lions defense was able to do against him and Cowboys offense, for the most part, all game long.

Dez BryantWR Dez Bryant (Photo: AP IMAGES)

"We were doubling Dez Bryant just about the entire game," Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said after the game.

Bryant still managed to make a couple plays vs. the double team. One, a 5-yard touchdown on a fine catch vs. two Lions defenders, and two, a 50-yard touchdown after safety Louis Delmas whiffed on a tackle. Aside from that, it was a fairly pedestrian outing for Bryant, who finished with three catches for 72 yards.

At the same time, Bryant had a front-row seat to Calvin Johnson's 329-yard, 14-catch performance.

Give the Lions defense some credit. Besides the breakdowns on the two long passing plays, they held the Cowboys offense in check, especially Bryant and tight end Jason Witten.

Combined, Bryant and Witten, the team's two leading receivers entering the game, had five catches for 87 yards. The two catches by Witten were the fewest since Week 3 of the 2012 season.

"We limited their playmakers," Schwartz said during Monday's press conference. "Their two guys we thought were their biggest playmakers were Dez Bryant and Jason Witten and they had five catches between them.

"I think there were a lot of other good things in that game that helped us overcome the fact that we had the four turnovers."

A lot's been made about Bryant's sideline antics, but let's not forget what prompted them.

The Lions defense set out to rattle a talented receiver Sunday ... and it succeeded.