Video From ESPN
SAN ANTONIO — Receiver Dez Bryant has done everything right on the field during the first two days of Dallas Cowboys training camp, but he refuses to participate in an NFL rite of passage.
According to the rookie first-round pick, Roy Williams and the other veteran receivers can carry their own shoulder pads after practice.
Dez Bryant wouldn’t take part in innocent rookie hazing at the hands of Roy Williams. ESPN.com’s Matt Mosley is amused, but how will Bryant’s Cowboys teammates react?
Williams gave his pads to Bryant after Sunday’s morning practice, but Bryant declined to carry them. Williams threatened to go to “step two” when talking to reporters.
“I’m not doing it,” Bryant said. “I feel like I was drafted to play football, not carry another player’s pads.”
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“If I was a free agent, it would still be the same thing. I just feel like I’m here to play football. I’m here to try to help win a championship, not carry someone’s pads. I’m saying that out of no disrespect to [anyone].”
It’s a common duty for rookies, who typically get some sort of hazing. Bill Parcells used to make first-round picks bring him water during breaks in practice. The Cowboys’ rookie offensive linemen are given awful haircuts by the veterans at some point during each training camp.
“Everybody has to go through it,” Williams said. “I had to go through it. No matter if you’re a No. 1 pick or the 7,000th pick, you’ve still got to do something when you’re a rookie.
“I carried pads. I paid for dinners. I paid for lunches. I did everything I was supposed to do, because I didn’t want to be that guy.”