Former NFL wide receiver Dez Bryant wants to play for the Dallas Cowboys again. He just doesn’t feel the need to prove he can still play.
In a new interview, Bryant reiterated his determination to play in the NFL again and would prefer to play where he started his career, with the Dallas Cowboys. However, he also made it clear that he wouldn’t join an XFL team to prove he still has skills.
Sports anchor Mike Doocy of KDFW Fox 4 in Dallas spoke with Bryant last week at a charity event, and the former All-Pro indicated his desire to return to his former team. “Of course, that’s home,” he said.
Bryant, who still lives in the Dallas area, hasn’t played in the NFL in two years. After the Cowboys released him in early 2018, Bryant signed with the New Orleans Saints that fall. He never took the field that year, however, after he tore his Achilles tendon in practice. He has not taken the field since.
This past season, Bryant began making overtures on social media indicating he wanted to rejoin the Cowboys. However, the Cowboys have shown no interest, given his tumultuous relationship with the team and his perceived decreased skills.
Bryant has never had the speed of most NFL wide receivers but made up for it in hustle and physical play. However, his final two seasons with the Cowboys were marred by injury and a lack of production. His abrasive personality made him a distraction in the locker room, and his effort on the field came into question.
Still, Bryant has remained popular with Cowboys fans, who have suggested that Bryant prove himself to be NFL-ready by joining Dallas’ XFL team, the Renegades.
At 31, many doubt Bryant can still be an impact player. Playing in the XFL, even for a handful of games, could ease those doubts and allow the Cowboys (or any other NFL team) to give him a chance.
Dez, however, won’t even consider using the XFL as a means to his goal. “Nah, not at all,” he said. “I know I can still play. That’s not an issue for me. I have high confidence in myself. No disrespect to the XFL, I just know I can play, that’s not a question.”
While continuing to work out in Dallas, Bryant has claimed on his social media that he will accept a supporting role on the Cowboys, who are hoping to re-sign their free-agent receivers Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb.
In his interview with Doocy, Bryant voiced a willingness to be a team player with younger teammates. “Potentially being able to play with Dak (Prescott), Zeke (Elliott), Amari Cooper, Randall Cobb, Michael Gallup, those guys, (Blake) Jarwin – I think that would be great,” he said. “I understand that’s their team, but I feel like they have the right pieces to go to the Super Bowl. I feel like I can help be a part of that, if possible. But every night, I’m just working, grinding, trying to get on that field either way.”
Doocy tweeted a video of his interview with Dez Bryant, which he recorded on his cellphone.
Top Photo: Ron Jenkins/Associated Press