Dez Bryant wants to be Jason Witten — in title only.
He’s ready to get his hands dirty, but not that dirty. Figuratively or literally. Call him a de facto tight end if you must, just don’t ask the 6-foot-2, 220-pound pass-catcher to assume a tight end’s responsibilities.
Such as blocking.
“I’m not blocking no pass rusher man… you just create different packages it’s simple,” Bryant tweeted Saturday in response to a follower, who sought to know whether the 31-year-old could face opposing edge rushers as a “smaller-framed TE.”
Bryant has continually pined for a reunion with Big D, the only team he’s known in eight professional seasons, save for a (devastating) cup of coffee (read: torn Achilles’) with the New Orleans Saints. He included the Cowboys on his list of “dream goals,” as it pertains to his potential big-league return, and recently referred to the club as “home,” among other not-so-subtle messages and social media panhandling.
He isn’t asking to step into a starring gig, perhaps recognizing his prime’s well in the rearview. There’s only so many scraps to go around the proverbial table with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Ezekiel Elliott in tow. Bryant simply desires to get in where he fits in — however and wherever.
Especially within the 20s.
“Easy.. guys will need a breather… I’m a huge target in the redzone.. you create all different types packages with all of the talent… my motto is scoring.. I don’t care about yards.. all I care about is 6,” he wrote to a different follower regarding his self-projected duties.
While Cooper is veering toward unrestricted free agency, and fellow WRs Randall Cobb and Tavon Austin also slated to reach the open market, the Cowboys have given no indication they’re seriously considering Dez for a second tour of duty.
But not for a lack of effort on the three-time Pro Bowler’s part.
“He has texted me that he would like to come back,” Cowboys VP Stephen Jones revealed last week. “We have nothing but great respect for Dez and what he accomplished here. Certainly, as we look forward into the future we look at all opportunities and all potential players that could maybe help us out.”
Even with Witten’s probable defection or re-retirement, Dallas is set to move forward with Blake Jarwin as the primary tight end. The team should add to the spot in free agency or the draft, though it’s unlikely Bryant’s name appears on the depth chart.
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Dez Declares Dallas a Super Bowl Contender [WATCH]
Now that his longtime foil, former head coach Jason Garrett, is no longer in the building, Dez Bryant is busy mending bridges with the organization. Who will be a legitimate contender next season, according to the mercurial wideout.
“I feel like they got the right pieces to go to the Super Bowl, and I feel like I can help be a part of that, if possible,” Bryant told FOX 4 on Wednesday night, via The Athletic. “But if not, I’m just working, I’m grinding, trying to get on that field either way.”
It’s quite the about-face from the former All-Pro, who once detailed his “unfair” 2018 release from Dallas and blamed Garrett for wasting his prime. Bryant then celebrated Garrett’s firing last month, signaling the start of reparative efforts.
“Give me the role they gave witten.. no shot at witten ..let me play with zeke pollard Gallup cooper Cobb jarwin…… think about it.. in the mean time I’m working,” he wrote on Twitter in January.
Out of football since 2018, when he tore his Achilles’ in his first practice after joining the Saints, Bryant genuinely believes he again can throw up the X in the silver and blue. He recently told TMZ Sports “for damn sure I’m getting back on that field” — hopefully, he reaffirmed, in the house Jerry built.
“[The Cowboys] are my first choice,” he said. “If the opportunity is there, I’m gonna take it.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL