The Cowboys have made a move to bolster their wide receiver room, signing free agent Martavis Bryant to the practice squad on Tuesday.
Cowboys are signing WR Martavis Bryant to their practice squad, a person familiar with move said. He worked out for team this afternoon and met with coaching staff afterward. All went smoothly. He is set to practice this week in the NFL for first time since 2018.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) November 7, 2023
Word came out on Monday that the Cowboys would be bringing Bryant in for a workout. Shortly thereafter, it was reported that Bryant had workouts lined up with the Lions and Titans if he were to leave Dallas without signing a deal. That never happened, as Bryant is now a Cowboy.
Bryant was a fourth-round pick in 2014 out of Clemson. The Steelers selected him and gradually worked him into their offense. The 6’4” receiver became a popular deep threat for Pittsburgh, averaging 21.1 yards per catch his rookie year on 26 receptions. The next year, Bryant tallied 765 yards and six touchdowns on 50 receptions.
Just as Bryant was beginning to solidify his role with the team, he was suspended for the entire 2016 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Bryant returned in 2017 and caught 50 passes for 603 yards and three touchdowns. After that year, Pittsburgh traded him to the Raiders. Bryant would only play in eight games that year before receiving an indefinite suspension for another violation.
Since then, Bryant has had brief stints in other professional football leagues. He signed with two different CFL teams, but never actually played a snap for either of them. He briefly joined the Beasts of the Fan Controlled Football (FCF) league, where he caught eight passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns. And most recently, Bryant was drafted by the Vegas Vipers of the XFL, but is now coming to Dallas.
Bryant now joins the Cowboys at 31 years old, but with very little tread on the tires. He takes a spot on the practice squad, meaning he can be elevated three times for game day while still retaining his practice squad status. Bryant’s signing comes amid struggles from the Cowboys receiving corps outside of CeeDee Lamb, specifically relating to Michael Gallup and Brandin Cooks.
It’s unclear what Bryant still has to offer in the NFL, given his extended absence, but his talent once generated a lot of excitement for both the Steelers and Raiders. And with the league since relaxing their policies on marijuana and marijuana-related offenses, the belief is that Bryant should be more consistently available to play moving forward. Now, it’s time for Bryant to get into practice and learn the playbook.