Dak Prescott said he didn’t have anything to do with Dez Bryant‘s release, lacking the power, after only two seasons in the league, to influence personnel moves. The quarterback said he and Bryant have exchanged text messages.
“I’m in my second year,” Prescott said Saturday night, via multiple reports. “As much as you want to say, ‘I want a say-so’ or this and that, those guys get paid a lot more than me. That’s what those guys get paid to do. That’s not my decision.”
Bryant, in an interview with Jane Slater of NFL Media on Friday after his release, blamed players and coaches he labeled as Jason “Garrett’s guys” for his departure. He didn’t name names, but insinuated a captain or captains worked against him.
Prescott was one of the Cowboys’ two offensive captains last season along with Jason Witten.
“I mean I’m sure he’s hearing stuff, and I’m sure he’s getting it from a lot of different ways so I mean I’m not going to finger-point at anybody,” Prescott said. “I’m not going to get upset for who he’s pointing at or who he thinks did this. So I mean, as I said, it’s a business, and it’s part of it.”
Prescott and Bryant never got on the same page on the field. The receiver made $22 million in base salary the past two seasons combined but caught only 119 passes for 1,634 yards and 14 touchdowns. In 2014, with Tony Romo as his quarterback, Bryant caught 88 passes for 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns, which helped earn him five-year, $70 million deal in the 2015 offseason.
Still, Prescott said it’s tough to see Bryant go, calling him “like a brother to me.”
“Dez is gonna be a hard guy to replace,” Prescott said. “He’s a talented guy. He’ll be missed.”
In January, the Cowboys first presented the possibility of Bryant’s release when executive vice president Stephen Jones was asked about Bryant’s $12.5 million base salary and $16.5 million salary cap number. The team’s signings of Deonte Thompson and Allen Hurns and its obvious interest in Alabama receiver Calvin Ridley further signaled the end was near for Bryant.
“He was a great player,” Prescott said. “He did a lot of great things for us obviously. He was a guy man-to-man you’d go to. At this point, we’ve got to figure that out with the guys we’ve got. I’m sure we’re going to go after guys in the draft or free agency. Who knows? All I can do is continue to get better at my job and just do the best I can do.”
The Cowboys didn’t offer Bryant a chance at a pay cut, with Jerry Jones informing Bryant of his release Friday. Prescott found out while working out after players saw it on the ticker.
“I knew of speculation, I think as all of us knew,” Prescott said. “I didn’t know necessarily that it was happening. I can’t say I thought that it would fully happen. As I said, it’s a business, and it just puts everything in perspective.”