Free-agent wide receiver Dez Bryant went off on several members of his former team, the Dallas Cowboys, during a series of tweets Friday night.
Released in April after an eight-year Cowboys run in which he became the franchise leader in touchdown receptions, Bryant responded to a since-deleted tweet from SiriusXM NFL Radio, which summarized part of an interview Dallas executive vice president Stephen Jones gave Friday by writing: “Stephen Jones on Dak [Prescott] improving: Dak is working on his game & accuracy. He has to trust the system. I think that was tough last year with @DezBryant in his ear. I think he’ll have the year he had last year if not better!”
Jones’ actual quote in the interview, however, also noted how former Cowboys tight end Jason Witten was in Prescott’s ear, too.
“He’s gotta trust the system, which at times I think last year there was pressure, with Dez in his ear, to some degree Jason in his ear,” Jones said. “Those great players want the ball.”
Bryant responded to the initial SiriusXM NFL Radio tweet by writing: “Here we go with that scapegoat s—,” while adding that the Cowboys’ issue was “garbage ass playcalling.”
Trust me I never wanted it to be like this but hey like drake said..they tried to put a dent in my armor…you can only go so far https://t.co/gslutIvBFi
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) July 27, 2018
The receiver called Cowboys owner Jerry Jones “clueless” and put blame for his release on Dallas center Travis Frederick and linebacker Sean Lee, whom he called a “snake.”
Yea he suppose to been my brother .. we laughed talk about goals and stuff he sat right across from me in the locker room..never thought we had a problem.. I got cut.. he was the first to know.. I find out he was also behind it
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) July 27, 2018
The Cowboys practiced Friday and were asked about Bryant’s tweets afterward.
Stephen Jones said his comments on SiriusXM Radio were not intended to be negative.
“You got great players like Dez and Witten, they want the ball, everybody sees it,” Jones said when asked to clarify what he said during the interview. “It’s on every team. The great players, the great receivers, the guys who catch the ball, they want the ball. They let the quarterback know that sometimes.”
Lee, meanwhile, called any assertion that he could get a player cut not true.
“First thing, to say that I can get anybody off the team and have any influence on the roster is absurd,” Lee said. “Second thing, I love Dez and I want the best for him. You know, to be honest, we did butt heads because I wanted Dez to be more accountable to this team and his teammates, and to be honest, a lot of the team felt that way. I think he needs to look at himself and hold himself accountable.”
Likewise, Frederick said he had nothing to do with Bryant’s release, saying the receiver was “always a good teammate to me.”
“I think you’re going to have to search long and hard before you find a fifth-year player that makes personnel decisions,” the Pro Bowl offensive lineman said.
Bryant questioned the offense and his role late last season. His numbers slipped after signing a five-year, $70 million deal in 2015, in part because of injuries and a shift in offensive philosophy with Prescott at quarterback.
The Cowboys opted to part ways with Bryant without even offering him a pay cut.
The Baltimore Ravens offered him a three-year contract not long after the release, according to sources, but he was hoping for a one-year deal to prove himself so he could cash in on a larger one in 2019.
Bryant tweeted several times Friday that he holds no bitterness or anger toward the Cowboys. He also made sure to note former Cowboys teammates Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams, saying: “I can’t tag everyone but you know who you are # 1 supporters and still am. I want them to achieve everything they got they mind on.”
On Thursday, at the opening news conference of Cowboys training camp, Jerry Jones said he last talked with Bryant about two months ago and expected him to have a job to start the season.
“Dez is an NFL player,” Jones said. “There’s no doubt in my mind [he] can really contribute. It was best for us that we’re in the spot we’re in, but when I say us it includes Dez. I believe that strongly. I love Dez. I spent a lot of time — and inordinate amount of time with Dez — but this is for the best. But he’s certainly [a] good enough player that he can help people. He can help teams win games. I say that unequivocally. I believe that.”
The Cleveland Browns have expressed an interest in signing Bryant, general manager John Dorsey said earlier this week.