When Dez Bryant first came into the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys threw some vintage hazing his way when the team’s veterans forced him to pick up a $55,000 dinner tab. During a recent taping of FOX Sports 1′s new show “Back of the Shop,” Bryant talked about paying the massive bill after he signed a five-year, $11.8 million rookie deal. While he wasn’t thrilled about it, he says it paid off in the long run.
“The way I look at that is some guys do it just to be [expletive],” Bryant said, via Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News. “I paid $55,000 for a dinner, and it struck me the wrong way. I could’ve easily went off on every last one of them, but I didn’t. I kept myself together, and I wanted to change that. So you know what I did, went out there and did my thing. Now they’re allowing me to call the shots.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones later implied that Bryant never actually had to pay the bill, but from the way Dez recalls it he did.
In a way, Bryant called the shots from day one. The infamous dinner came after he refused to carry veteran defensive back Roy Williams’ shoulder pads, which is something almost all rookies have to do during training camp.
As for what he means by “calling the shots,” we’re not sure. If Bryant is saying his teammates allow him to have numerous in-game meltdowns on the sidelines without any consequences then, yes, he certainly does call the shots.