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October 28, 2012

Bryant says his "heart dropped" when potental game-winning catch ruled incomplete

In an up-and-down game marked by multiple mistakes by the Dallas Cowboys’ offense, receiver Dez Bryant thought he had authored the decisive highlight moment when he hauled in a pass from quarterback Tony Romo in the New York Giants’ end zone with 16 seconds remaining.

Then, referee Scott Green intervened.

Upon further review, Green announced that Bryant’s hand landed out of bounds, turning a potential game-winning touchdown catch into a last-minute incompletion in a 29-24 loss at Cowboys Stadium.

“When they took it away, my heart just dropped,” said Bryant, whose hand tapped the white out-of-bounds area a split-second before his butt made contact _ inbounds _ in the end zone. Had the butt landed inbounds first, the catch would have counted.

Bryant (5 catches, 110 yards), who joined teammates Jason Witten (18 catches, 167 yards) and Miles Austin (9 catches, 133 yards) in triple-digit yardage totals, also mixed in a fumbled punt that set up a Giants field goal in the second quarter.

It came one week after Bryant was scolded by coach Jason Garrett for taking too many chances as a punt returner. Bryant was removed from punt return duties Sunday for the final three quarters.

Bryant said he sometimes gets too aggressive in punt-return situations because, “I just love to make plays. I feel like that’s my job, to make plays.”

Bryant said ball-handling skills on punt returns is “just something I need to keep practicing one. Keep my focus, stop trying to go before having the rock.”

Bryant said he did not realize he had placed his hand behind him, barely over the out-of-bounds marker, in the end zone as he tried to brace his fall on the catch that almost became a game-winner.

“I had my mindset that if the ball was thrown to me -- I don’t care – I was going to come down with it,” Bryant said. “And I came down with it. And I thought I was in. It’s just frustrating.”

Replays clearly showed Bryan’s hand was out-of-bounds on the play.

_ Jimmy Burch

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