WATCH: Dez Bryant and Josh Norman almost set off brawl

As if watching the storming Dallas Cowboys battle a top division rival on Turkey Day wasn’t going to be entertaining enough, the bout also included a gassed up matchup between two of the league’s top players that proved to be worth every bit of the hype.

In Thursday’s game, Dallas’ wide receiver, Dez Bryant and Washington Redskins’ cornerback, Josh Norman went toe to toe and even fists to fists on some plays. However, the clashing of the two extended well beyond the game, field, and the locker room. In fact, like most beefs these days, the scuffle ended up spilling over onto Twitter. But before then, the conflict erupted in a dramatic way, beginning on the field.

The kind of passion these guys showed may have been the jumpstart the league has been seeking all season long. Granted, it may have gone a little further than some would have liked, but beggars can’t be choosers. This NFL season has not been the “littest” thing in the world lately due to various reasons and theories, but this style of play is just what everyone needed to get them back excited about professional football.

The two were always expected to draw attention because of the level of talent they both possess. Not to mention Norman’s known reputation for having more than a few fireworks go off when covering popular receivers. Everything started as planned. Norman and Bryant were competitive and played man-to-man early in the game, with Norman taking a few breaks here and there, nothing too crazy. Then things quickly went left, which many of us secretly hoped would.

By the second half, the two were in full on physical warfare that neither tried to disguise. Facemasks were being grabbed, arms were swinging, and verbal sparring ensued and shoving matches took place during Norman’s coverage of Bryant. There even came a point in the game where the officials instructed the coaches of both players to help calm and reprimand the men.

 

Even at this point there was still time to grab some popcorn for more theatrics. When the game concluded with Dallas on top, the teams went to shake hands with each other. The two continued to confront one another and eventually had to be separated by coaches and teammates. Afterwards, they both blamed the other for the actions that took place and neither was apologetic in their post game interviews. Norman claimed Bryant threatened him and Bryant insisted that he “exposed” Norman for the talentless player that he is. Bryant then went on to make arguably the most controversial statement of the whole encounter, which was that the Redskins should, “get their money back” for Norman.

If such battles like this one don’t grab viewers, nothing the game has to offer will. Many NFL analysts reported that such behavior should be frowned upon by the league and that it takes away from the game. However, with the ratings being shaky and unstable over the past few weeks, the opposite seems more likely. No, the league should not promote violence, but it should support tough and convincing competition and that is just what these guys gave us.