Cowboys Doubled Dez: Titans Pic Doesn't Lie

DFW AIRPORT - Dez Bryant is sporting an ice pack on his shoulder, a grin on his face, and an iPad in his hand. And he would like to show you a photograph.

Dez Bryant Is not dressed in a snappy suit and tie, as is his custom - and as is Dallas Cowboys policy for players on a road trip. He has an inconvenient excuse for his team-issued T-shirt arranged awkwardly over his torso: a gigantic ice pack is wrapped around his right shoulder, part of the price he paid for his 11th career 100-yard effort in Sunday's 26-10 manhandling of the Titans in Nashville.

“I’ll fight through anything,” Dez had said early in the victorious locker room, answering questions about the shoulder that was battered in the first half, causing him to retreat temporarily to the locker room. “As you see, I came back and did what I do. It’s good. It might be sore in the morning, but it’s good right now.”

It isn't yet sore on the plane ride home, Bryant probably riding high on adrenaline and the "sign of respect" that he talked of in the locker room and is demonstrating to onlookers now. He is traveling up and down the aisle of the chartered plane, showing people the above photo, taking at least as much respect in the visual as he does 10 catches for 103 yards and critical third-quarter TD catch from Tony Romo on a huge third-and-2 from the 3 cash-in.

“You’ve just got to make a play when your number is called,” Bryant had said. “That’s it. When you’ve got my boy (DeMarco Murray) doing what he’s doing, you’ve got to be there to back him up. I feel like that’s exactly what I was doing."

What Dez was doing: overcoming that pictured double-team, which is the way Tennessee's defense started the game. The Titans were trying to set a tone that may have backfired. I come away from watching him and listening to him that double-teaming Dez that way actually Inspired the guy. “I’m OK with it because that means one of my other beasts – talking about the wideouts or D-Mo – have to come through and make a play,” Bryant said, and later he notes the vision of that unusual doubl-team is all about "respect." And his offensive boss agrees, Scott Linehan noting that he's only "seen two receivers get that look: Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant."

That's respect. The words don't lie. The numbers don't lie. And the photo on the iPad belonging to a smiling Dez doesn't lie, either.

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