On Sunday in Philadelphia, Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com appaently spent the entirety of the game following Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant with binoculars, and didn't like what he saw.
The Cowboys have praised Bryant's enthusiasm for the game since he arrived as a first-round pick last year, but Freeman wrote on Monday that his expressive nature was a distraction not only on the sideline, but on the field during the game, which raised new questions this week that perhaps Bryant was not maturing at an appropriate rate.
Friday is Bryant's birthday. He turns 23.
If Bryant is, in fact, a problem, the two people whose opinions of him matter the most, his coach and quarterback, had nothing remotely negative to say about the receiver's demeanor on Thursday.
"Dez is great," Tony Romo said. "His emotion is just - there's never a negative emotion that comes from it. It's just positive consistently. He's just a kid that loves playing the game, and he's passionate, but there's never any malice or anything negative involved. I mean, the cameras can catch whatever they want, but he's never mean toward another person or anything like that, and he just wants to win and he's excited about being out there playing, and we're lucky to have him."
In Jason Garrett's press conference, the coach was asked whether Romo is better able to deal with a player as emotional as Bryant because of his three-season experience with Terrell Owens.
Bryant maintains he is different from Owens, having never asked for more passes to come his way. He says on the sideline he is attempting to encourage teammates, or communicate information about the defense.
"We don't like to really compare players," Garrett said following the T.O. comp. "We feel like Dez has a lot of good attributes as a player. He's a young football player, he's only going to get better and better. We like what he does physically. We like how he plays the game. We'll continue to work with him in all phases of his game. We feel like he has a bright future."