Stakes will be high when Panthers and Saints square off

By not cutting Incognito loose, the playoff-minded Dolphins are assured that the Pro Bowl guard won't be joining a contender for the postseason.

Attorney Ted Wells was hired by the NFL to conduct an independent investigation, both of the specific claim against Incognito and the locker room environment in Miami. That investigation is expected to last at least several more weeks.

Early exit

Dallas receiver Dez Bryant explained Monday that he ran to the locker room before the end of the Cowboys' upset loss to Green Bay on Sunday because he didn't want to be seen crying on the sideline.

"I was wrong," Bryant told reporters during a visit Monday to Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth. "It didn't have anything to do with my teammates. … I couldn't watch Green Bay kneel the ball down on the field after a tough loss like that.

"I was very emotional. I cried when I got to the locker room. I didn't want to show that stuff on the sideline."

Bryant had 11 catches for 153 yards and a touchdown in Dallas' 37-36 defeat at home, a game in which the Cowboys had been favored by a touchdown.

On his weekly radio show, Coach Jason Garrett said he planned to address the early departure with Bryant later Monday.

"I understand it to a certain extent," Garrett said. "They're kneeling the ball, the game essentially is over. He's an emotional guy. We're all very emotional about what he do.

"But he needs to stay out on the field, and I'll address that with him today. And just explain why it's important to do that, and he'll understand."

The larger lesson?

Mamas, don't let your Cowboys grow up to be babies.

Twitter: @latimesfarmer