Sep 29, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant (88) prior to the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys Dez Bryant Didn't Know About the Helmet Rule

I guess most of us assume that if you play in the NFL, you understand the rules. Apparently, that is not the case. During Sunday’s victory over the Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant removed his helmet to argue with an official after getting called for offensive pass interference. Bryant then got an additional flag thrown at him for unsportsmanlike conduct, and he didn’t understand why. Here’s how Bryant explained the incident to the media after the game:

Aug 29, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant (88) on the sidelines during the game against the Houston Texans at AT

“I wasn’t angry at the ref. I was trying to see what the call was. I thought they called pass interference on the defense. Whenever I took my helmet off, I didn’t know that was a penalty. I was kinda shocked. I heard the ref say ‘Oh, he took his helmet off’ and I saw him throw the flag. I know now not to take my helmet off. If you go back and look at the play, you’ll see that I’m shocked. I’m confused.”

When asked why he took his helmet off in the first place, Dez explained:

“So he could see me clear. I took my helmet off, so I could tell him. I didn’t know it was a flag. The play was over with. I didn’t know it was a flag. But I’ll learn from it. Not a big deal…anymore (chuckles)”

The official NFL rulebook states the following when it comes to removing your helmet on the field of play:

“There shall be no unsportsmanlike conduct. This applies to any act which is contrary to the generally understood principles of sportsmanship. Such acts specifically include, among others: (h) Removal of his helmet by a player in the field of play or the end zone during a celebration or demonstration, or during a confrontation with a game official or any other player.” – Section 3, Unsportsmanlike Conduct – Article 1: Prohibited Acts

At least Bryant isn’t alone in his ignorance as this is not the first time an NFL player has been negligent about the rules. Most recently, former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and 13-year veteran Donovan McNabb was surprised to find out a football game could end in a tie. See the video evidence below:

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Dez Bryant Donovan McNabb Helmet Rule Penalty Unsportsmanlike Conduct

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