Dez Bryant was released on Friday and he wasn’t happy. It didn’t take long for Bryant to express his feelings on the subject as he indicated that “Garrett guys” had something to do with the decision to let him go. Who were these guys, specifically? Well, he was talking about some of the Cowboys team captains and how the influence they had within the organization. Is there any truth to that? Who knows? But what we do know is that after four days have gone by since he was cut, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett and some of his “guys” finally spoke out about the Dez decision.
Here is what Garrett had to say:
“I love Dez Bryant. I love him. I love everything about him as a person and a player. I’m so appreciative of the opportunity to coach him. He’s one of the great players ever to play in this franchise, and he’s a special guy. It’s certainly an emotional time. It’s not an easy decision for us to make. He’s been such a great player and a big part of our organization. But again, we made the decision in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys. We’re going to move forward, Dez is going to move forward, and hopefully we’ll have a lifelong relationship.”
What would the “Garrett guys” have to say? Let’s go to Cowboys tight end Jason Witten as he is not only the President of the “Garrett guys” club, but he’s also a member. He responded with:
“Friday was an emotional day for all of us. To see Dez’s time here come to an end – one of the most prolific receivers in this franchise’s history. I was fortunate to see it and live it every day in the way he played and the way he practiced. Personally, I took a lot of pride in seeing him come in as a young rookie and overcoming all the things he did and developing into one of the best, if not the best, wide receivers in football. So many great plays, so many great memories. So many days and evenings spent talking about routes and technique and the passion he showed. It was an emotional day for all of us, myself included, to see him. Fortunately, I’ve been around long enough that it’s happened to a lot of friends of mine – Miles (Austin) and DeMarco (Murray) and DeMarcus (Ware) and Tony (Romo) and Doug Free and Marc Colombo. So many, on and on that I can go. I understand that it doesn’t last forever. It’ll happen to me, as well.”
It’ll happen to you, Witt? Please say it isn’t so. I was banking on him never retiring.
Witten has caught touchdown passes from a lot of different players, but none was more creative that the one he caught from Dez.
Cowboys All-Pro linebacker and “Garrett guy” Vice President, Sean Lee, offered up these words:
Me and Dez came in together (in 2010). He’s one of the best players I’ve ever played with, a guy that I fed off his passion … It’s going to be really hard to replace.”
He would also speak about whether the team captains had a role in his departure:
“All I know is that I loved playing with him. Like any type of breakup, it can be tough. But I know he’s going to be dominant and go play the way he can be. We can’t get into that. We’ve got to move forward, but he’s a guy we love and that we’re praying for and rooting for.”
The idea that there are players advocating against others has suggested there could be some type of division in the locker room. Team captain, All-Pro center, and grizzled “Garrett guy,” Travis Frederick, would come to the defense about the strength of the club’s locker room:
“There’s always been a great focus on the team, the team, the team, and it really is a good group of guys and we have a really strong group of leaders in there. I think guys really have bought into that and bought into what we’re trying to do with improving in the offseason and improving moving forward.”
There you have it. Straight from the “Garrett guys” themselves. They all love Dez, but they’re all ready to move forward.