Is Dez Bryant to blame for the interception?

October, 2, 2012
10/02/12
11:42
AM ET


Jerry Jones didn't defend wide receiver Dez Bryant on Tuesday morning, but he also didn't place all the blame on him for one of the five interceptions thrown by quarterback Tony Romo.

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Cowboys WR Dez Bryant says DB Charles Tillman made a good play when he intercepted Tony Romo's pass.

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Bryant ran a different than Romo anticipated, allowing cornerback Charles Tillman to intercept the pass and return it 25 yards for a touchdown, giving the Chicago Bears a 10-0 lead.

In all, the Bears turned two of Romo's interceptions into scores en route to a 34-18 victory. But the toughest pick to accept, for some, was the play to Bryant.

"We'll look at it again this morning, but that corner basically did a pretty good job and he intercepted it in no-man’s land," Jones said on his weekly radio show on KRLD-FM Tuesday morning. "Now Romo has a split second to make this decision. But Dez thought he was coming up and of course Romo read it as if he was staying back. Again I saw the replay of it, knew what both were looking at. Dez obviously thought he was going to step it up and it was not that Dez didn't know there was a blitz and he didn't know his read, he simply read the corner coming up and when you look it on tape that may be hard to see, especially when you're out there with a split second."

Before the play, Romo and Bryant looked at each other to acknowledge Tillman was making a change in the coverage. If Tillman pressed Bryant, he was supposed to run a go route. If Tillman played back, Bryant was supposed to run a stop route.

Romo and Bryant are supposed to make this read quickly, and bad things can happen if both players can't recognize what the corner is doing at the snap of the ball.

You could say Bryant ran the wrong route, but you could also say Tillman just baited the receiver into thinking one thing and doing another.

"Just got to give credit to the DB. We thought he was going to go in something else and he stopped and he played it and he just made a good play on me," Bryant said.

Romo added: "You just have to give great credit to the defensive back. We thought that he was going (to press) and he stopped and he played it (zone) and he just made a good play on (the ball)"

Tillman said it was a hard play to make because he caught Romo and Bryant on different pages.

"I think when quarterbacks throw the ball like that, that's probably one of the hardest plays in football because it takes so long and you're thinking like, 'alright, alright, oh, oh, don't drop it. Don't. Okay, I got it, just out run everybody.' I don't know, I got lucky on that play, I suppose."

If anything, Bryant might be to blame for his inexperience by failing to see what Tillman was doing. But at the same time the other team makes plays, too.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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