The Norman Transcript

National Sports

October 27, 2013

Bryant backs off Johnson comments

DETROIT — Dez Bryant backpedaled like a cornerback when asked follow-up questions about saying he could do anything Calvin Johnson can do.

“I think a lot of people took it the wrong way,” Bryant said. “Clearly, I said there was no comparison.”

It will be easy to compare the two star receivers when the Detroit Lions (4-3) play the Dallas Cowboys (4-3) because they are both go-to options for their quarterbacks, and they’re facing two of the NFL’s worst teams against the pass.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he’s concerned Bryant’s comments will be used by Johnson to be even more motivated to dominate Dallas.

“Everybody who follows football knows he’s a fantastic player and has been for a long time,” Garrett said. “He’s a mismatch player.”

Johnson proved that perhaps as clearly as ever in last week’s loss to Cincinnati when he leaped to catch a 50-yard touchdown pass while surrounded by three Bengals in the end zone.

When possibly inflammatory comments from Bryant were passed along to Johnson, he extinguished them in a text-message exchange.

“I just told him that I don’t really pay attention to the media anyways,” Johnson insisted.

Passing fancy:Bryant and Johnson can play up to their vast potential in part because they’ve got strong-arm quarterbacks throwing them the ball. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has thrown for more yards (27,747) in his first 100 starts than anybody in the Super Bowl era. “We’ve got to stop him from throwing a lot to 82 (Jason Witten) and limit the big plays he makes with 88 (Bryant) to have success,” Detroit safety Louis Delmas said.

Detroit’s Matthew Stafford has 14,936 yards passing, leading all quarterbacks since 1960 after their first 52 starts, according to STATS. “He can throw the ball all over the park,” Garrett said.

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