- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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“Of course. No doubt, no doubt, no doubt. No question, he did,” Bryant said Wednesday. “I think I’m kind of past that and I think he thinks that, too. It’s a respect between me and him. Last game that we played, we didn’t say a word, as far as disrespect. It was more, ‘Let’s go. Let’s play.’ Basically competing against one another.”
Maybe Hall gave up on verbally harassing Bryant because the Cowboys’ No. 1 receiver learned to ignore it. That’s a message Miles Austin drilled into his head -- often while telling him to stop jawing and get back to the huddle -- for the first two years of Bryant’s career.
Or perhaps Bryant simply earned Hall’s respect with an eight-catch, 145-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Redskins last Thanskgiving.
Hall basically lobbed Bryant long-distance verbal bouquets this week, mentioning how facing a receiver of his caliber provided a little extra motivation.
“Any time you have a chance to go against somebody that you feel is one of the best, you’re going to try to rise to the occasion,” Hall said, according to the Washington Post. “That’s in anything you do. That’s just the competitiveness in all of us. ...
“Any time you have a guy like that, who I feel like is a hell of a football player, and he’s obviously one of the best in the game, so you definitely want to bring it.”
Hall acknowledged that “mind tricks” wouldn’t be part of his game plan against Bryant, who has learned not to let Hall vs. Bryant become bigger in his mind than Redskins vs. Cowboys.
“There’s no issue between us,” Bryant said of Hall. “I just think it’s the competition of the game. That’s all it is. We have mutual respect for one another. Sunday, it’s going to be a battle.”