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Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Garrett: 'Don't want our players officiating'

By Tim MacMahon

IRVING, Texas – Dez Bryant’s rant received the most attention, but he wasn’t the only high-profile Cowboy to initiate an animated conversation with an official Sunday night.

Tony Romo got involved in the second round of Bryant’s complaint session after a heavy-contact incompletion in the end zone late in the fourth quarter. Jason Witten jogged out to the middle of the field during a commercial break to plead his case after a third-down incompletion in the third quarter.

Coach Jason Garrett doesn’t mind his players discussing such plays with officials, to a certain extent.

“We don’t want our players officiating the game,” Garrett said. “Having said that, communicating with officials I don’t think is a bad thing, as long as it doesn’t get to the point of distraction.”

The Cowboys had cases on both non-calls. Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha got away with grabbing Bryant’s arm as the ball was in the air during the garbage-time third-and-goal play. Bryant demonstrated the motion in exaggerated fashion to the official standing a few yards away after the play and went back for more discussion after a sack the following play, when Romo halted his discussion with the official to hold back Bryant. Witten’s complaint came after Joselio Hanson got away with a more subtle grab in the middle of the field.

“I think that’s a natural reaction,” Garrett said of complaining to officials after such plays. “We don’t want to take that away from our players, but at the same time, we want them to continue to focus on the task at hand and worry about their job.”