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Dez Bryant says he didn't know taking off helmet was a penalty

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Dez Bryant learned a new rule Sunday. (USATSI)
Dez Bryant learned a new rule Sunday. (USATSI)

A week ago Dez Bryant starred in two sideline rants that led many to question his maturity and passion.

On Sunday, the Cowboys receiver was again involved in an eyebrow-raising moment, this time with the game officials when he was flagged for offensive pass interference. He then ripped off his helmet to argue with referee Jeff Triplette. That led to being penalized for taking off his helmet while on the field.

Afterward, Bryant said he had no idea that removing his helmet was a penalty in the first place.

"I wasn't angry at the ref,” Bryant said afterward, via the Dallas Morning News. “I was trying to see what the call was. I thought they called pass interference on the defense. When I was trying to come out of my break, the guy was tugging on me a little bit and I was trying to break away from it.

“He threw the flag and the whole time I'm thinking it's a flag on him. Then I took my helmet off and I didn't know that that was a penalty. I was kind of shocked and then I heard the ref say, ‘He took his helmet off.' I know now not to take my helmet off. If you go back and look at the play, you'll see I'm shocked. I'm confused.”

After the penalty, Bryant had to be shooed to the sideline by tight end Jason Witten and quarterback Tony Romo. Even so, in his mind, taking off his helmet at the time made sense so he could make his case to Triplette. Especially since Bryant didn't know the rather well-understood rule.

“So he could see me clear,” Bryant said when asked why he took off his headgear. “I took my helmet off so I could tell him. I didn't know it was a flag because the play was over with. I'll learn from it.”

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