Jim Wyatt, SENIOR WRITER/EDITOR
ARLINGTON, Texas – Titans safety Kevin Byard turned in a “Get Your Popcorn Ready” moment on Monday Night Football.
Byard made the play of the game with a game-changing interception in the first quarter, and it provided a big spark in the team’s 28-14 win over the Cowboys.
First, the play:
With the Titans already trailing 7-0 and on the verge of falling behind two touchdowns, Byard stepped up and made a huge play – an interception in the end zone. He snatched a Dak Prescott passl out of the air on a second-and-goal play from the six.
“I want to give a shout-out to Logan Ryan, because he made a great play on that one by undercutting the route and making Dak throw it up in the air,” Byard said of his fellow Titans defensive back, “and that allowed me to make play.”
Then came the celebration.
Byard celebrated by running into the middle of the star at AT&T Stadium – reminiscent of a Hall of Fame receiver Terrell Owens and his celebration on the star 18 years ago when he played for the 49ers, against the Cowboys.
“It’s just something I thought about at the hotel, thinking about Monday night in Dallas. I was thinking, ‘What can I do if I make a play?” And really just to show the team we are not scared. We are here to play ball, and here to win the game. I made the play and I ran straight to the 50-yard line.”
When Owens celebrated on the star, it set off a brawl.
Byard kind of expected the same thing to happen on Monday night.
“I just ran to the star to celebrate,” he said. “I was actually expecting somebody to kind of knock my head off. But then we started dancing… It’s Monday night, man. It’s Titans football. We’re going to turn up.”
Owens noticed the play.
He sent out two separate posts on Twitter. The first one read: ‘I feel like I’ve seen this before’ above a video of Byard’s celebration. A second post included a hashtag: #NoBiggerFanThanMe, with a pair of emojis.
“That’s the goat right there, T.O,” Byard said.
In the locker room after Tennessee’s 28-14 win, players agreed Byard’s pick was the play of the game.
The Titans outscored the Cowboys 28-7 from that point on.
“They were loving it,” Byard said of his teammates. “I don’t think (Coach Mike) Vrabel loved it that much, and I talked to him about it as well. I am pretty sure I’m going to have another talk with him as well.
“But my teammates loved it and it definitely gave them a little bit of juice on the sideline and if that helped us get going, and that helped us win the game, I’ll do it 100 times. … But at the end of the day I love Vrabel and respect him.”