"I'm very excited, you know, it's a dream come true," Bryant said. "I get to play with the Cowboys and that's what I always wanted. I'm speecheless right now."
A Biletnikoff finalist in 2008, Bryant was suspended only three games into his final season at Oklahoma State, after allegedly lying to NCAA investigators about a meeting with former NFL player (and former Cowboy) Deion Sanders. Bryant's stock fell, in all likelihood, because of these perceived character questions, and the Dallas Cowboys, who passed over Randy Moss in 1998, were intent on not making the same mistake twice.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Bryant gives quarterback Tony Romo another potentially dynamic receiver to go with returning Pro Bowler Miles Austin. It also likely means a lesser role for Roy Williams, who has been pretty much a bust since Dallas gave up several draft picks and a $45 million extension to get him from Detroit midway through the 2008 season.
Bryant was considered by many the best receiver in this draft, an All-American in 2008 when he turned 87 receptions into 1,480 yards and 19 touchdowns. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones gave up his 90th pick (third round) for New England's 119th (fourth round) to grab Bryant.
"It's a blessing that, that I'm even playing in the NFL," said Bryant. "This is what I've always wanted as a child, and now that its really happened, it's just unreal. It's an unreal feeling."
The selection represents a homecoming of sorts for Bryant, who was born and raised in Lufkin, Texas. He was at a house in DeSoto, a suburb of Dallas, when he received the call from the Cowboys, informing him that he'd been selected with the 24th overall pick--the second receiver taken in the 2010 draft.
In 2008--his final full season at Oklahoma State--Bryant posted 87 receptions for 1,480 yards and 19 touchdowns. He is widely regarded as the best receiver in the class, and is now set to provide a welcoming target for Tony Romo opposite Miles Austin.
What this means for Roy Williams and the rest of the Dallas receiving corps, well, that's another story for another time.