Jason Garrett: Dez Bryant 'needs to stay on the field'

Dez Bryant decided to head to the locker room before the game was over. (Fox?NFL)
Dez Bryant headed to the locker room before Sunday's game was over. (Fox/NFL)

Dez Bryant didn't need to hang around for the final whistle to know that the Cowboys were going to lose to the Packers. So with 1:21 left in the fourth quarter, he headed to the locker room. Not surprisingly, it didn't go over well with fans and media, who spent much of Sunday evening calling Bryant out.

Shortly after the game, Bryant tried to explain himself.

By Monday, Bryant had apologized.

"I was wrong," he told reporters. "It didn't have anything to do with my teammates. I just ... I couldn't watch Green Bay kneel the ball down on the field after a tough loss like that. I was very emotional. I cried when I got into the locker room. I didn't want to show that stuff on the sideline."

Works for us, although we also understand the whole "being a good teammate" thing involves sucking it up when things go poorly.

"We'll address that with Dez today," Garrett told 105.3 The Fan Dallas-Fort Worth. "I understand why to a certain extent, they're kneeling the ball, the game essentially is over, he's an emotional guy, we're all very emotional about what we do. But he needs to stay out on the field and I'll address that with him today. And just explain why it's important to do that and he'll understand."

Garrett, like quarterback Tony Romo previously, described Bryant as "one of the great team guys I've ever been around." Adding: "He loves his teammates, he loves this team, has a great passion for winning. You have to understand how to handle yourself in those situations. He'll learn from this situation."

The bigger question, at least from the perspective of Week 15, is whether the Cowboys have learned enough to backdoor their way into the playoffs. Sunday's effort against the Packers suggests otherwise.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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