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Dez Determined To Shift The Focus Off Josh Norman, On To The Vikings

FRISCO, Texas – Before he answered a single question Monday afternoon, Dez Bryant made sure to ask how long it's been since Thanksgiving.

"Why would I want to talk about last week? We're playing Minnesota," he said. "What's today? When was the game?"

Given the Cowboys' odd scheduling these past two weeks, it'd be understandable if Bryant lost track of time. But, given the events of last Thursday, his forward focus was directed more at putting his back-and-forth with Josh Norman behind him.

"This thing is way much more bigger than me, and I'm here to do my job," Bryant said. "That's what I'm going to continue to keep doing – just that. That's so far behind me right now."

Bryant and Norman got in a dustup in the moments after the Cowboys' 31-26 win against Washington last Thursday night. Taking things even further, the two players traded jabs in the media afterward – escalating a rivalry that began last year when Norman, then a Carolina Panther, criticized Bryant following the Panthers' Thanksgiving win over the Cowboys.

Hours afterward, however, Bryant went to Twitter to express his regret at the way he handled the situation.

Asked about it Monday, he reiterated that regret, while again emphasizing that he was turning the page on the story.

"I'm really not trying to talk about that, but I wish I didn't did what I did, but that's ok – because it's over with now," he said. "I'm not even focused on that. I'm not into opening up another can. But it's all said and done."

That won't necessarily quiet the buzz around the two players. Reports have come out about the blowup in the days since. Former NFL greats like Michael Irvin have voiced their disapproval of the situation. For his part, Dez chalked it up to the competitive nature of the sport.

"It's just the nature of the game. It's football at the end of the day," he said. "I have nothing against that guy – I'm pretty sure he has nothing against me. It is what it is."

The Cowboys undoubtedly appreciate Bryant's focus, given the challenge awaiting them in Minneapolis on Thursday. Minnesota boasts the No. 4 pass defense in the league. The Vikings are surrendering an average of just 207 passing yards per game, and they employ the likes of Xavier Rhodes and Harrison Smith.

There's plenty for Bryant to concentrate on in the here and now.

"As long as we're focused on what we're doing, we should be OK," he said. "We can't look too far ahead, we've got to stay in the moment – we've got to stay in right now."


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