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Dez Bryant defends Odell Beckham Jr.: ‘He’s extremely misunderstood’

Dez Bryant and Odell Beckham Jr. happen to be very close friends off the field. With the New York Giants wide receiver being subjected to his fair share of criticism of late, Bryant felt compelled to stick up for his pal, calling Beckham “extremely misunderstood.”

Both Bryant and Beckham are in Orlando for the Pro Bowl and the Dallas Cowboys wide receiver took a moment to go to bat for the talented-but-enigmatic Beckham.

“The things that young man has accomplished are amazing. He loves the game,” Bryant said of Beckham, via “He’s extremely misunderstood. I think if most guys around the league studied and played the game the way he plays the game, maybe they’d be as good as him.”

Beckham has been a target for criticism not only of late but for most of his NFL career, mostly due to his apparent inability to control his emotions on the field. But his antics leading up to, during and following the Giants’ playoff game against the Green Bay Packers opened him up to even more scrutiny even more.

Beckham and a handful of Giants teammates took a trip to Miami on a scheduled day off for the team, a move that was roundly panned. Beckham later defended his actions by stating, “I’m a grown man.”

Making matters worse, Beckham had an absolutely horrible game against the Packers in the wild-card round, with two inexcusable drops highlighting a nightmarish performance.

Beckham then allegedly suffered a postgame meltdown after the game, during which he punched a hole in the wall at Lambeau Field.

But at least Beckham, who has maintained a low profile since the Giants’ playoff loss, can take comfort in the fact that Bryant has his back. And the feeling is mutual.

“He’s like a brother to me,” Beckham said of Bryant earlier this season. “We’re very similar in a lot of ways. We’ve had a closer bond since last season going into the offseason.”