‘Lesser men would back away’: How will Cowboys respond to mockery by Titans?

ARLINGTON, Texas — Cowboys safety Byron Jones bolted from the sideline and shoved Titans defenders Jurrell Casey and Wesley Woodyard off the navy and white star painted at midfield of AT&T Stadium.

But let’s back up.

Twelve and a half minutes had elapsed in the first quarter of Monday Night Football when Tennessee safety Kevin Byard dove in the Cowboys endzone, intercepting Dak Prescott’s pass intended for Amari Cooper.

Byard raced the stolen ball to the 50-yard line, teammates joining him to dance atop the Cowboys star logo at midfield. The taunt mirrored wide receiver Terrell Owens, who’d mocked Cowboys Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith with the same jibe 18 years ago.

Jones, standing on Dallas’ sideline, wasn’t having it.

He ran.

“Just defend the star,” Jones said after Dallas’ 28-14 loss to the Titans dropped its record to 3-5. “There’s no reason for them to disrespect the star like that.

“You can have fun. I understand the celebrating. But you overstep the boundaries when you go on the star.”

For his performance Monday night, arguably the momentum changer in the Cowboys’ first home loss this year, Byard earned a nod from Owens, three months after his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction.

“I feel like I’ve seen this before,” Owens tweeted after Byard’s imitation. “I gave ‘em the drip, they sucked it up, I got ‘em on it.”

Owens later added “#NoBiggerFanThanMe.”

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