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September 15, 2013

Dez Bryant has a big day, but he misses two more big ones with a drop and a PI

Receiver Dez Bryant had nine catches for 141 yards and a touchdown. He wasn't happy.

He dropped a pass and was called for offensive pass interference, two big plays in a 17-16 loss.

"I just feel like all training camp, we worked hard," Bryant said. "A lot of us are down right now just because of the time and the effort we put in over from the summer. We all know that how we played is not acceptable. I know we’re going to go back in and do what we need to do and clean up these mistakes and get it right."

Bryant had gained a step on cornerback Brandon Flowers, which he did most of the day, only to drop a perfectly thrown pass from Tony Romo near midfield in the fourth quarter when the Cowboys were trying to come back. Instead of being in Kansas City territory, the Cowboys ended up punting.

"I just can’t beat the guy, and then be nonchalant with the football," Bryant said. "That’s what I did. I shouldn’t have done that. That was a huge mistake on my end. You can’t win like that."

It was a rare drop for Bryant, who made tough catches all day. He rebounded from last week when the Giants double teamed him, holding him to four catches for 22 yards.

"He made plays all day," Cowboys offensive coordinator Bill Callahan said. "I thought he had a terrific game, and unfortunately guys have drops at key times. That was one of them. But we should have done enough as a team to overcome that. It was disappointing. But I thought Dez, for coming back from the game he did and being double-teamed last week, I thought he came back and answered a lot of critics in the sense that he competed and made a lot of plays for us, especially in the first half as well as the second."

Bryant, though, also had an offensive pass interference penalty in the first half, negating a 22-yard gain. Instead of a first down at their own 34, the Cowboys faced a second-and-14 at the 6. They punted two plays later.

"I didn’t see the replay, but the other guys all told me it as an aggressive call in that regard," Romo said.

Because of the Cowboys' poor field position -- an average drive start of their own 21 with only one of 12 drives starting in Kansas City territory -- the PI and the drop both prevented Dallas from at least flipping the field.

"More than anything, it was a field-position game. It really was," Romo said. "It’s hard to go 10, 12 plays out there, and that’s what you needed to do. That’s why the penalties are very difficult. The penalty on Dez was a really, really big penalty just because it’s hard to get chunk yards against that football team. If you get them, that’s a way that you can attack their defense. That’s what you have to do to score points. If you can’t, it’s going to be a tough one."

-- Charean Williams




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