Dez: More Giants players should have Beckham's passion

As if you needed another example that we no longer live in your grandfather's NFL, a Dallas Cowboys star is defending a New York Giants star.

Dez Bryant stood up for the criticism Odell Beckham Jr. received the past year.

"Whenever something doesn't go right, as far as a team loss, y'all don't like his actions, and all it is, is just him wanting to win the game," Bryant told ESPN's Jenna Laine on Saturday. "If more people were like that on his team, maybe they would do something special."

From his in-season tussling with a kicking net on the sideline to the overblown pre-playoff boat trip, Beckham is under the microscope more than any NFL player.

Throughout his career, Bryant has been just as misunderstood, including going through inflated sideline blowups. The Cowboys' receiver believes any off-field outburst from Beckham stems from the desire to be a champion.

"He's a talent that a lot of people wouldn't be able to understand. You want to criticize him. You want to talk about him because you just don't understand him -- his whole mindset, the way he goes about his game. He's a hell of a football player. He's a great football player."

The reaction to players like Dez and Beckham displays how those of us on the outside often misinterpret passion for petulance.