By John McMullen, NFL Editor
(SportsNetwork.com) - Green isn't Dez Bryant's best color.
No, this isn't about Bryant's wardrobe and Mr. Blackwell's worst dressed list, it's about the fact the talented Dallas Cowboys receiver was so jealous of the attention Calvin Johnson was getting from Matthew Stafford on Sunday, he blew up on two different occasions.
"Megatron" set an NFL regulation-time record with 329 receiving yards on 14 catches for Detroit, which stormed back to beat Dallas, 31-30, when Stafford lunged in from the 1-yard line with just 12 seconds remaining.
It would be nice to assume that Bryant, like every other Cowboy, was upset about the heartbreaking setback, but there's little question he was more concerned about the fact Johnson upstaged him with his monster performance.
It's not like Bryant was bad, either. In fact, he hauled in two brilliant touchdown receptions but only had three catches overall and was targeted just six times compared to the 16 looks Johnson got from Stafford.
That lack of attention morphed into a Miley Cyrus-like, look-at-me diva meltdown, which evidently lies at the heart of Bryant's personality.
Dez's first tirade was the more difficult one to defend, but the second will be most remembered because veteran Pro-Bowl tight end Jason Witten got in Bryant's face and called him on his actions.
Dallas was actually on top, 13-7, when Bryant aimed his anger at receivers coach Derek Dooley and quarterback Tony Romo with the typical "get me the ball" rant that is a staple of every out-of-touch receiver who can't seem to comprehend football is the ultimate team game.
Believe it or not, the Lions don't want to target Johnson 16 times in a game, but Nate Burleson's injury has elevated the underwhelming Kris Durham and Ryan Broyles to less-than-desirous complements.
On the other hand, with Witten, ascending rookie Terrance Williams, and even emerging slot receiver Cole Beasley available, Romo can actually look away from Bryant every now and again, a luxury which actually helps and seemingly is something his star receiver is not capable of understanding.
The sequel to Bryant's first rant came after Monte Kiffin's defense imploded in the final minute, but this time the only personalities on the Cowboys' sidelines strong enough to deal with it intervened. The 6-foot-6, 261-pound tough-as-nails Witten got in Bryant's face before injured defensive end DeMarcus Ware stepped in and played the role of Mills Lane in order to settle the unhinged Bryant down.
"My passion is always positive," Bryant said after the game in an effort to downplay his actions. "It's always positive. It's going to remain the same way. I'm not saying anything wrong. I'm not saying anything bad. It's all positive. That's just what it is."
To any objective observer, Bryant's tantrums were anything but positive and hardly smacked of constructive criticism, but he wasn't about to apologize for any of it.
"That's (the media's) problem," Bryant answered when asked how his behavior looked to people outside the Cowboys' inner circle. "Everybody knows up in this locker room who I am. It's been that way since Day 1. The day that I got drafted, like I told y'all, don't get it twisted: I love this game. I love my teammates. That's what it is."
Then show it.
Winning is difficult in the NFL and you take one anyway you can get it. Style points are nice but inconsequential at the end of the day, and true competitors would rather earn a bowling shoe-ugly win than pile up meaningless numbers in a setback.
The real greats don't look at numbers, save the ones on the scoreboard when the final guns sounds.
It was abundantly clear Sunday that Bryant was far more concerned with himself and his pseudo-matchup with Johnson than his teammates, green with envy while watching "Megatron" ring up his historic numbers against a soft cover-2 shell.
Dez wanted to be the one lighting up fantasy football leagues around the country and capturing that guest spot on "The League" next season.
No one is saying Bryant wants to lose and it's pretty clear he truly believes the football in his hands gives the Cowboys a better chance on a weekly basis.
And to be fair, he's probably right. But there is a time and a place for everything. If you have a problem with your quarterback or the coaching staff, engage them during the week in Frisco while the HD cameras aren't capturing your every move.
You get what you tolerate in life and there is a reason the Cowboys have been mired in mediocrity since Jimmy Johnson skipped town. It's a rudderless ship and all the so-called leaders lined up to defend the indefensible.
"He's never complained to me about getting the ball," Romo said hours after we all saw Bryant do exactly that. "He knows that the ball's going where it's supposed to. He knows that."
Coach Jason Garrett also was in lock-step, although he did at least hint at Bryant's desires.
"We want guys who want the football," Garrett said. "Dez has never been a distraction to our football team. He is a really positive asset to our team -- on the field and off. The way he works, his passion for the ball game, that's good stuff."
Never been a distraction?
The law suits from stiffed jewelers for nearly $900,000 aren't a distraction?
The domestic violence charge for allegedly striking his biological mother wasn't?
Or how about yelling at his boss and QB on Sunday?
It's fair to say Garrett was far too busy to deal with a petulant child against the Lions, but afterward he should have addressed this in an honest fashion. Now, he, Romo and Dooley come off as impotent leaders beholden to the star receiver, something even Jerry Jones played into.
"I'm not trying to make light of it," the Cowboys' owner said. "But he's a very passionate player and he competes and works and does all the things that give him the collateral to use with his teammates and with me relative to a few awkward moments on the sideline, overexpression of passion. He's bought enough slack with me."
And maybe that's the problem.
Immaturity is the issue here and Bryant needs to see clear boundaries and consequences to his actions.
10/28 11:02:34 ET