Controversial No Call in Detroit - Dallas Playoff Game as Dez Bryant Runs on the Field, Attempts to Kiss Referee
The NFL playoffs began this past weekend and no game was more highly anticipated than the NFC matchup between the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys. The game did not disappoint as the two sides tangled in a close matchup that left the Dallas Cowboys victorious over the hard luck Lions.
But the game was not without controversy. No moment was more talked about than when, late in the game, during a pivotal moment Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant was overcome with passion and attempted to run onto the field and give a deep loving kiss to referee Lee Dyer.
Dyer, a pillar of professionalism, quickly waved off Bryant's romantic overtures and gestured for him to return to the sideline. Still, many pointed out that just because Bryant's attempted make out sesh failed to be consummated did not mean there should not have been a flag on the play.
"He is an offensive player not coming in as a substitute." Analyst and former NFL coach Tony Dungy observed. "There is no reason he is out there other than to... (kiss referee Lee Dyer full on the mouth, French style) . Every official should have thrown a flag at that point. At the very least it should have been another 15-yard penalty. And there is no way you can justify not calling that.”
Several analysts agreed with Dungy's assessment.
ESPN columnist Kevin Seifert clearly mapped out the rule in the official NFL rulebook prohibiting on-the-field necking in his Inside Slant article. "Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1(jk) prohibits "removal of a helmet by a player in the field of play or the end zone during a celebration or demonstration or during a confrontation or with the purpose of planting a big wet one on a game official or any other player."
Tony Romo was asked about the moment after the game and whether or not it would be used as a tactic to unnerve the Green Bay Packers next week in Lambeau but Romo, played it coy. "Oh, wow... I haven't been thinking, to be honest I've just been so wrapped up in tonight I haven't thought one bit about that. We'll have to see."
Many players did not share in Romo's elation at Bryant's brazen public display of affection. The Detroit Lions defense became so jealous of Lee Dyer that they completely fell apart. Committing penaly after penalty on the games deciding drive.
"You're out there with the guy. Trying to grab him, get him on the ground all game and that's who he goes after? It's hurts a little, you know? You feel a little betrayed." Lions safety Don Carey said afterwards.
One person particularly distraught was Lion's defensive player Ndamukong Suh.
Suh was so utterly crushed that he was not the target of Bryant's aborted love revolution he struggled to hold back tears of disappointment during his post-game press conference and ultimately had to excuse himself so that he could weep in a physical state of solitude so as to match his emotional state of heartbreak.
In his own post game press conference, Dallas coach Jason Garret downplayed Bryant's effort to recreate the tongue dancing scene from Top Gun. "Emotions were running high and Dez is an emotional guy. We'll sit down with him and talk about when it is appropriate to do those type of things and when it is not."
Whether or not this was simply a random flirtation for Bryant, he can be sure that he found at least two allies in his effort to liberate the NFL from the chains of love as Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie were briefly shown initiating a raucous orgy in the owner's box suite. Whether or not this orgy was a form a celebration for the win or simply a part of Jones' and Christie's Satanic worship rituals was not clear.
*Requests for comment from the Cowboys Organization or Governor Chris Christie were not returned.