Controversial Dallas Cowboys news has come out of the game against the Carolina Panthers, as Dez Bryant reported disrespected Josh Norman, according to ESPN.
Despite coming into the game with a 10-0 record, the Panthers were still largely ignored by the masses. They knew that playing against the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on Thanksgiving Day was a great opportunity for them to make a statement to the nation. Norman understood just how big of a game this is, despite playing against a team that had a 3-7 record. He knew he could make some noise by going toe to toe with Bryant, one of the best players in the NFL.
Already frustrated by a season that has included a serious foot injury and seven straight losses, Bryant was irritated coming into the game today. The two time Pro Bowl player was also annoyed by the notion that Norman was going to shut him down during the game. While the Panthers defensive back was still in the locker room, Bryant was on the field calling him out. The Carolina players that were on the field made sure to pass the message to Norman.
The tension between Bryant and Norman was clearly evident early on during the game and throughout the rest of the time. Just a couple of plays into the first series, the Cowboys wide receiver could be seen arguing with Norman, who used the situation to get fired up and motivated. Bryant was even caught talking trash with Norman instead of trying to tackle a defender that had intercepted a pass from Tony Romo and was racing towards the goal line. That is something a younger and lesser mature Bryant would do.
Bryant’s performance was noticeably lacking on the field against the Panthers. When Norman guarded him, which he did for much of the day, Bryant was contained to just one catch for measly six yards. Despite being targeted a total of eight times by Cowboys quarterbacks, the former Oklahoma State University star was held to just two catches for 28 yards when defensive backs other than Norman was guarding him. Clearly not a career day for Bryant.
When the season started, many doubted that the Panthers were going to do all that well this season. A big part of that reason is because few felt that their secondary was good enough for the NFL. That was before Norman decided to rise to the occasion and become one of the best players at his position. Many have started comparing the 27-year-old to Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks, long regarded as one of the best defensive players around. Norman will more than likely be compensated as well as Sherman soon.
San Francisco 49ers fans considered Sherman a thorn on their side for the past couple of years because he has defeated their team and irritated former wide receiver Michael Crabtree, now with the Oakland Raiders. Though today was just a small sample, Norman could become a foe of Bryant, especially if the Cowboys can get back on track in 2016. Dallas will more than likely run into Carolina again if they are hoping to make it deep into the playoffs.
A new rivalry between Norman and Bryant might have just been born today, and that is a good thing for the NFL.
[Featured Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images]