Though some may commend Dallas Cowboys rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant for refusing to carry the pads of fellow WR Roy Williams, you have to wonder how wise it is for Bryant to create that kind of potential riff in the locker room so early in the preseason. On Monday, reports surfaced out of Dallas that Bryant politely refused to carry Williams' pads after practice as is often asked of rookies during their first camp, which of course is protocol for young players to do as they get initiated to life at the NFL level. Bryant, who has said and done all the right things up to this point, wanted no part in the outdated ritual:
"I'm not doing it," Bryant said. "I feel like I was drafted to play football, not carry another player's pads."
"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]."
Williams wasn't too thrilled with the development and offered this up as a response to the incident:
"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."
Very interesting. Hopefully this gets sorted out by head coach Wade Phillips and the Cowboys' players before it becomes even an inkling of an issue. We all know how the media loves to fixate on the Cowboys. Regardless of whether Bryant should be lauded for wanting to focus on winning rather than rituals that could potentially detract from that focus, it's not too much to ask to fall in line with tradition and the way things have been and will continue to be done in Dallas and around the NFL.