Dallas Cowboys rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant made news earlier in the week when he refused to carry veteran Roy Williams pads into the locker room after a workout. Several members of the media, and former players ripped Bryant for not participating in the right-of-passage.
Bryant said after a Tuesday morning practice that the media is trying to ruin his relationship Williams. The rookie said he is just trying to do the right thing, and that the incident has been blown way out of proportion.
“I didn’t know nothing about no tradition,” Bryant said. “The only thing about me … when I try to do something right, y’all try and turn it negative and I don’t feel like that’s right. I’m trying my best to do the right thing but it seems like I can’t do the right thing because every little thing that I do y’all watching it and try to make a big deal out of it.”
Former NFL star Rodney Harrison sat down with Bryant in an attempt to set him straight. Harrison was a key component in building a dynasty with the New England Patriots in the early 2000′s. The two-time Super Bowl champion explained to the rookie that it was important to pay a small price for a tremendous amount of respect.
“I said this is a situation where this is a custom and a ritual that’s been around before you were even born,” Harrison said. “I had to do it and everybody had to do it.”
The rookie was remorseful after the meeting, saying that he wished the whole situation had never gotten so out of hand. Both Bryant and Williams say the incident is behind them, and Dez seemed more contrite after the meeting with Harrison. The ‘Boys know that their NFL betting odds will be more favorable if Bryant can produce in his rookie season.
“I told Roy this … he could have walked in with his tights on,” Bryant said. “I would have took his shoulder pads, his pants, his helmet, his socks, his shoes. I would have took everything. But you know what, that’s not even an issue.”
Harrison says he believes the rookie has learned a valuable lesson in dealing with the media. The Cowboys could have fallen out of favor with NFL betting trends if Bryant and Williams could not get along.
“In his defense, he said, ‘You know Rod, I didn’t know it would be blown up like this,’” Harrison said. “I told him, ‘You’re Dez Bryant and anything the media can do, they will do to make you look like a bad guy.”
With the training camp distraction behind them, the Cowboys can now focus on their goal of winning a Super Bowl. NFL sports betting sites have set the Cowboys among the underdogs to win Super Bowl XLV at +1000.