Dez Bryant pledged his new contract wouldn't change the intensity with which he plays. And he proved it Sunday during a Dallas Cowboys training-camp practice in which he aimed a punch at teammate Tyler Patmon on the field ...
Play ended with Jason Witten's catch. But during, Dez Bryant and Tyler Patmon got in a scuffle. Had been building. pic.twitter.com/DCzED6KgAv— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) August 3, 2015
... and then four minutes later, on the sideline, attempted to take some more swings.
"I got a bit overheated,'' Dez said later, after having first trotted off the field declined to speak to the media, and then, of his own volition (with no PR coaching) opting to return to face the media music. "But at the end of the day, that's something you really need for a team to try to win ballgames.''
Dez described himself as "animated'' -- and that was true well before his new five-year, $70-million deal that puts an even greater spotlight on him -- but I asked him if it's possible, given, the fisticuffs, if it's possible to be "too animated.''
"Nope,'' he replied. "No such thing. It's all me. I love this game. I love competing. I'm very prideful.''
The animation was so high that everyone from Tony Romo to Jason Garrett to Joe Randle had to play peacemaker. And while former Pro Bowl safety Darren Woodson watched from the sideline and later told me, "This was no big deal, because it's happened every day in football forever,'' Bryant and Patmon did recognize it was important to settle there differences over a conflict that started just because the two former Oklahoma State players were jawing at each other.
Said Patmon: "We got at it. Then we squashed it. It's over.''
Said Dez: "We shook hands, we hugged, we respect one another. (Patmon) is just fighting for respect. You can go to war with a guy like that any day of the week.''