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It won't be personal for Bryant against Sherman

IRVING, Texas — Dez Bryant was fielding so many questions Thursday afternoon about facing Seattle Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman this weekend that Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett walked by and jokingly pushed Bryant away from reporters.

“This is how I dominate him in the low post,” Garrett quipped, referring to when he plays basketball against the Cowboys’ star receiver.

Garrett didn’t have anything to worry about. Bryant didn’t provide any bulletin board material for this Sunday’s game.

“It can’t be personal,” Bryant said. “You’ve got to go out there and focus on what the offense is doing and what the play-calling is doing. You’ve got to go out there and focus.

“I’m just looking at it as he’s an outstanding football player and you’ve got to be prepared when you go against someone like that.”

Bryant respects Sherman. Bryant called the 6-foot-3, 195-pounder “arguably the best corner in the league.” The two exchanged phone numbers while at the ESPY awards earlier this year and they’ve traded text messages since.

Sherman, who is known for his public trash-talking of opposing receivers, said Tuesday that Washington’s Pierre Garcon “doesn’t matter in this league.” Asked Wednesday if Bryant matters, Sherman responded, “He does. He matters a great deal.”

“Dez is an incredible talent,” Sherman said, according to The News Tribune. “Obviously his resume speaks for itself, but he does a great job getting open, playing the ball in the air. He made a fantastic play for them last week, which is indicative of what he can do when the ball is in the air.”

Sherman works on the left side of the field. Some teams avoid putting their top receiver on that side when facing Seattle. But that won’t be the case with Bryant.

“They’re going to go against each other a lot,” Garrett said Thursday.

So how will Sherman counter Bryant’s strengths?

“There’s numerous ways,” Sherman said. “I’ll show you better than I can tell you.”

The two star players are being a little reserved, but that’s because they aren’t lined up against each other. When the helmet and pads come on Sunday, no one should be surprised if the two emotional competitors start jawing.

“That’s just the nature of the game,” Bryant said. “I’m pretty sure he’s going to say something to me. I’m pretty sure I’m going to say something to him. But at the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, we’re going to congratulate one another and talk and take pictures and get back on the plane and go our separate ways.”