Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant said he would have taken a pay cut if it was offered, but it wasn’t. That just solidified his feeling that some coaches and some former teammates had it in for him.
“I’m not here to bash anybody, but they know, man,” Bryant told Jane Slater of NFL Network. “They know. They know. The way this whole situation got handled, I felt like I asked some of them to be a man about some of the situations a long time ago, and they couldn’t. I’m not talking about no players, because all the players we A1. That’s one thing that we did. We learned from one another. . . . I’m trying my best to sugarcoat it, but I can’t.”
Bryant clarified he was talking about “some of the coaches” and later did talk about some players.
The Cowboys have turned over their coaching staff, and receivers coach Derek Dooley is one of those who left in the offseason. Head coach Jason Garrett and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan remain.
“Hey, I’m a direct guy. I only know one way to be. I wake up, sleep, breathe football,” Bryant said. “If somebody don’t like me, I would love to know that. I think you’re supposed to go about it that way, learn how to respect and work with somebody even if you don’t like that person. I did it. . . . I’m not here to bash anybody, but I’ve got to keep it real. I always kept it real. Jerry Jones, he loved me to death, and I loved him, too. I honestly did. I honestly believe in my heart this was a hard decision for him. When it’s five to six guys at a table against one guy, you’ve got to do it. Like Jerry told me in our meeting, he didn’t ask me to take a pay cut. He didn’t want that. That further lets me believe what I thought a long time ago.
“I don’t know. I don’t want to say it’s emotional. I’m not trying to call anybody out, but at the same time, this situation was very unfair to me. It was an unfair situation because if they did want to get rid of me, they could have told me that. They could have told me that, and I would have respected it. Just like I told Jerry in the meeting, I respect his decision.”
Bryant, who had a $12.5 million base salary and a $16.5 million cap number for 2018, was told Friday the Cowboys no longer wanted him. He blames some teammates for working against him, though he would not name names.
“I’ll say this right here: I believe that Garrett’s guys [worked against him]. I would say that,” Bryant said. “I believe that. I truly believe that. I won’t put no names out, but they know, and I want them to know on this air I know. I’ll shoot them a text message and let them know. Little do they know is they can wear that ‘C’ [for captain] all they want to, but in that locker room, they know who they run and they talk to. They know who they communicate with. Everybody know where the real love is at, and I’m not throwing anybody under the bus, but that’s the difference between me and them.”
Bryant is hoping to sign with an NFC East team, too, so he can play against the Cowboys twice a year.
“It’s a new chapter for me,” Bryant said. “It’s a new chapter and I’m ready to play ball, and I think I got an extra boost to want to do good, to want to get my body right, to want to perform at the highest level. I got something to prove to those coaches. I think they done came up with too much talk about me already. I’m ready to just prove them wrong.”