Dallas Cowboys rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant(notes) says he didn't know it was tradition for rookies to carry veterans' pads, and that the media blew it way out of proportion when he refused to do it for Roy Williams.
From Cowboys Corner at Star-Telegram.com:
"I didn't, I didn't know," Bryant said. "And like I told Roy, if I knew that situation was going to turn out this big he could have walked in with his tights on. I would have took his shoulder pads, his pants, his helmet, his socks, his shoes. I would have took everything."
"I have been trying to do the right thing," Bryant said. "Y'all are trying to turn it into something negative. I am going to continue to do the right thing. Everybody on the team likes me, and I like everybody on the team. Y'all are trying to put me and Roy against each other. That is not going to happen. We are trying to do something real special here. We are going to continue to keep trying to do that."
This, as some had opined, does not sound like a guy with an attitude problem.
Bryant's probably right that way too much was made of the story, and I've got to cop to being a part of that. My attitude towards the story, though, was that it was nothing more than an amusing little tidbit, and not at all an indication that Bryant was a jerk or a bad teammate.
Anyway, it's done now. Williams and Bryant are fine, and Bryant is fine with everyone else on the team, too. He's still probably going to have to pick up an absurd dinner tab — "When we go out to eat, I’m going to be a little bit more hungry and thirsty,” said Williams — but as for friction within the team, there is none.