Cam Newton and Geno Smith have gotten a lot of attention for their respective training-camp altercations, but Dez Bryant was involved in yet another skirmish this week – his second of the summer.
We all know about Bryant’s scuffle with cornerback teammate Tyler Patmon earlier this week. Well, Bryant got into it with several Rams players during a joint practice Tuesday and received a punch to the face for his efforts.
“Dude, it’s insane,” The Ticket in Dallas radio host Bob Sturm said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “Honestly, it’s funny because Dez Bryant is maybe the most popular athlete in the city. I think Dirk has run this town for a long time, but I feel like Dez is taking over in the year 2015 a little bit. And really what’s interesting about Dez is he is a trouble-maker – and everyone knows he’s a trouble-maker and every time there’s a fight at training camp, everyone just assumes that Dez probably started it – and no one cares. And that’s just the way this thing rolls right now. There were two fights at training camp this year, and depending on who you ask, Dez and his mouth probably started both of them – and the team is cool with it because he’s one of their leaders and he’s kind of emotionally charging this thing. I don’t know that they necessarily have a plan when they can’t keep him on the proverbial chain, but for the most part, I think they accept the bad because the good is off the charts with him.”
After signing Bryant to a five-year, $70-million contract, however, the Cowboys probably don’t want to their star wideout getting in (read: instigating) fights.
“Yeah, (the Patmon incident) was absolutely started by Dez and his mouth,” Sturm said. “And there were definitely people that said the Rams were pretty tired about Dez verbally challenging them, and you could see from the footage that when it went down yesterday, there were dudes with an 88 radar trying to find him to get a punch in – and it does look like one dude caught Dez with a nice straight right to the nose.”
That dude was Rams cornerback Imoan Claiborne.
“It was a weird deal because Tyron Smith, the giant left tackle, was kind of doing the Andre the Giant bit where he was trying to get Dez out of there, but in doing so, he kind of held Dez down briefly around the waist so the other dude kind of popped Dez,” Sturm said. “It was a weird scenario. But that dude is so emotionally charged that even in a practice he’s just really untamable, it seems.”
At this point, the Cowboys can only hope Bryant doesn’t get into an altercation during the season and risk injury or suspension. If the summer is any indication, though, the odds of Bryant going a full 16 games without incident seem pretty low.
“They hope he can harness it and use it only for good,” Sturm said, “but Dez is going to be Dez.”