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October 14, 2012

Dez Bryant claims pass interference on the one that got away

Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant had a career-best 13 receptions for 95 yards and two touchdowns, but he left lamenting the one he didn’t catch in a 31-29 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. If the Cowboys hadn’t recovered an onside kick, and Dan Bailey hadn’t missed a 51-yard field goal on the next-to-last play, Bryant might have felt worse than he did.

Bryant had a chance to tie the game after scoring on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Tony Romo with 32 seconds left. The Cowboys used the same play on the 2-point conversion, with Bryant matched against cornerback Cary Williams one-on-one.

Bryant dropped the pass – Jones said Bryant cradled it instead of catching it with his hands as he sometimes tends to do – but Bryant claimed interference.

“I feel like I can make difficult catches,” Bryant said. “I just felt like he put his arm around me, and I thought that the ball hit off his forearm. That’s what I thought. I haven’t seen the play yet. It wasn’t called. They got it.”

Bryant has 21 catches for 200 yards and two touchdowns in his past two games, but two plays prevent it being the best two-game stretch of his career. Bryant and Romo had a miscommunication against the Bears, with cornerback Charles Tillman getting a pick-six when Bryant failed to run a hitch as Romo expected on the hot route. Then, Sunday, it was the 2-point pass that Bryant said he could have caught.

“I think we can win with that day that we had and win with him as the key receiver,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “It was that kind of day. …We can win games and have a solid to really good passing attack with Dez playing games like he played. Everybody drops them, but he needs to make that catch.

“He made plays to keep some drives going that really helped us, and he did it with his skill.”

-- Charean Williams

Twitter: @NFLCharean

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