CINCINNATI -- Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is an emotional guy. You know where you stand with him on most days.
Sunday, in an emotionally charged game for the Cowboys against the Bengals, where several of their coaches were on the field encouraging and shouting instructions to their players, the bench was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct with 10:17 to play in the third quarter.
Ryan got into a debate, if you will, with Bengals left tackle Andre Smith near the Cowboys' sideline. Smith apparently said something to the Cowboys bench, but after Ryan yelled something back the official standing next to Ryan threw the flag.
Normally, the Cowboys, like most NFL teams, have a trainer or someone on the strength and conditioning staff to keep coaches within a designated area of the sidelines or sometimes off the field.
With Ryan yelling, no other coach or staff member tried to pull him back. Ryan was so upset, it appeared he didn't get a chance to make a defensive call for the next play.
"There were a couple of times we felt like when their quarterback moved in the pocket our guys were getting held, and as a reaction on the sidelines, guys were emotional about that," coach Jason Garrett said. "One of their players came over and kind of hollered at our sidelines and Rob hollered back. We can’t do that. We have to keep our emotions in check. That was the scenario there about a potential call and their players reaction to us and Rob had a reaction. That felt like it was justified to call that penalty there."
The Cowboys sideline, at that time, was a mess with several coaches yelling and screaming. Given the events of the weekend, it's understandable that things can get tense.
Players and coaches talk smack to each other from time to time because, to be honest, it's an emotional game. But Ryan needed to pull back here.
"I think the bigger issue was he was out on the field," Garrett said. "That was the explanation they gave me."