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October 22, 2012

Garrett says Dez was too aggressive with overhead punt catch, then running around with the ball loose

The Cowboys like it when Dez Bryant goes after punts. But they don’t like it when he reaches up for them over his head at the 15-yard line, with only seconds left before halftime, trailing 7-3, and then runs around with the ball outstretched.

That’s what he did Sunday against Carolina, putting gray in coach Jason Garrett’s hair.

“To be honest with you, I thought it was pretty darn aggressive. And arguably too aggressive,” Garrett said. “And that’s something that we’ve talked to him about. ... He was aggressive catching that thing over his head, and maybe worse than that was holding the ball as loosely as he held it once he had the ball in his hands. And that’s something you’ve heard me preach a ton. We drill it all the time. For a guy like that, you keep wanting to give him opportunities but he’s got to make sure he secures it better.

“Ultimately, I think we all were relieved when he was tackled and we still had the ball,” Garrett said, smiling and drawing laughs with the line. “It’s a great learning opportunity for him because it’s obvious on the tape that he was overly aggressive.”

Bryant said after the game he felt like he had to make a play, but that after thinking about it, he should have let the ball go.

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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