Dez Bryant said all the wrong things after the Cowboys released him Friday, blaming everyone from “Garrett Guys” to “Guys with a ‘C’ on their jersey” for his unemployment.
We shouldn’t be all that surprised.
After all, this is the first time in his football life a team has told Bryant we don’t want you.
It hurts, so he lashed out.
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Well, his former coach and teammates spoke at a charity event Tuesday night where Jason Witten and Emmitt And Pat Smith were honored for their charity work.
Bryant’s former teammates took the high road, dismissing the receiver’s comments as a product of frustration.
Still, if you listen to to their words and compare them to what Bryant has said since his release there’s a definite disconnect.
While Bryant hinted at snitches and betrayals, Travis Frederick and Sean Lee said the Cowboys had a tight locker room.
So did Witten.
“Absolutely not,” Witten said of a divided locker room. “My job and everybody else’s is to go play and try to lead the best we can by example. There’s nothing to that.”
Coach Jason Garrett also spoke publicly for the first time, professing his love for Bryant - the player and the man - at least three different times.
Clearly, he had memorized his talking points.
“I love Dez Bryant. He’s one of the great players to ever play for this franchise. It’s certainly an emotional time,” Garrett said. “It wasn’t an easy decision to make.
“We’re gonna move forward, Dez is gonna move forward, and hopefully we’ll have a lifelong relationship.”
Not until there’s a healing process. Bryant has called his release personal; the Cowboys have called it business.
There’s no singular reason why Bryant is no longer a member of the Cowboys.
He’s a free agent because his salary the past three seasons was not commensurate with his production.
He’s a free agent because his poor route-running made him a guy who wasn’t Dak Prescott friendly.
He’s a free agent because the organization had grown weary of his off-the-field antics whether we’re talking about his habitual tardiness, his lax approach to getting treatment from the training staff or his occasional sideline outbursts.
“Its a challenging situation,” Garrett said. “A lot of different factors go into these kind of decisions. The guidepost for all this is what’s in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys. We wish Dez nothing but the best going forward. He’s a special guy. I love him.”
The reality is Garrett deserves considerable blame for Bryant’s lack of development as a player and a person.
While Bryant has matured, too many times over the years Garrett has made excuses for The 29-year-old receiver.
He’s excused his sideline behavior labeling it passion. When he went MIA after suffering a knee injury in 2016 he excused that saying Bryant was having a difficult time dealing with the injury.
Garrett was the ultimate enabler, giving Bryant license to break rules other couldn’t or wouldn’t.
The result was a phenomenal talent who had a sense of entitlement that remained even after the franchise he loved abandoned him.
Why else would Bryant use the phrase “Garrett Guys” with such a negative tone?
Is it a bad thing to be a Bill Belichick guy in New England? What about a Mike McCarthy guy in Green Bay? Or an Andy Reid guy in Kansas City?
Garrett said he’s spoken twice with Bryant since Friday.
“We had a good, honest discussion. I appreciated the time that he took and how we talked through a lot of different things,” Garrett said. “He’s a special guy, I love him to death.”
But not enough to keep Bryant on his football team.