The Cowboys are 3-5 and losers of their past two games and three of their past four. Yet, the biggest question they faced Wednesday was about former teammate Dez Bryant signing with the Saints.
“They’re getting a great receiver,” running back Ezekiel Elliott said. “He goes up and attacks the ball better than I’ve seen anyone. He’s definitely a special player, and I’m glad he got picked up and I’m glad something worked out for him.”
Elliott was among the Cowboys to reach out to Bryant, offering congratulations on his signing. Elliott and Bryant exchanged text messages Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s big for him, man,” defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford said. “I’m happy for Dez. I got to hook up with him a couple of weeks back, and I saw the way he looked and he was. He looks like an animal right now. I’m just hoping for the best for him. He’s a good friend of mine.”
The Cowboys released Bryant on April 13 to save $8 million against the salary cap. He had remained unemployed until this week, though Elliott suspects “it’s taken this long on his end, not because teams haven’t wanted him.”
The Browns and Ravens offered Bryant contracts. He turned them down.
Now, as an added bonus in joining the Saints, Bryant gets a chance to face his old team. The Cowboys host the Saints on Nov. 29.
“Dez is a great player,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “Dez was a great player in this organization for a long time. Really happy for him and that opportunity. I know it’s important to him. He wants to finish his career strong. He’s done such a great job for this organization and been an impact player in this league over the course of his eight years playing. Seems like a real good opportunity for him. I know he’ll help their team.
“. . .I’m happy he has an opportunity to go play and finish the right way.”
Elliott said Bryant will fit in with the Saints and dismissed the notion that the star receiver was disruptive in the locker room or toxic in the receivers room. The running back praised Bryant’s passion, which Elliott said sometimes is viewed differently outside the locker room.
“Right when I got here, he took me under his wing,” Elliott said. “You’re getting a very passionate football player. You’re getting a very passionate individual. I think sometimes that’s looked at the wrong way. From the people who love this game, who’ve played, they can understand that about it being somewhat harder for other people to figure that out. I think he’s going to be a good veteran for that team. He’s already got a lot of great weapons. There’s nothing like adding another sharp tool to that toolbox.”
The Cowboys have moved on, trading for Amari Cooper two weeks ago to be their No. 1 receiver. Now, Bryant has moved on.