Dez Bryant lobbying for return to Cowboys in 2020: 'Give me the role they gave Jason Witten'

In case the Dallas Cowboys weren't listening the first time, allow Dez Bryant to repeat himself, but with a lot more specificity. The all-time franchise leader in receiving touchdowns has already made it clear he'd accept a contract to re-sign with the Cowboys in 2020 if offered one, noting a willingness to take on a reduced role as simply a red zone threat. 

After all, with the signing of Mike McCarthy, Bryant believes the Cowboys "just became real contenders" in 2020.

It's no coincidence the proclamations arrived on the heels of the team moving on from longtime head coach Jason Garrett, who Bryant has been no fan of since being unexpectedly released by the Cowboys following a 2017 season wherein he voiced issues with the offensive scheme under Scott Linehan. With Garrett now taking up residence as offensive coordinator for the New York Giants and tight end Jason Witten trying to figure out what he wants to do next -- a role for him in Dallas not readily clear as a player or as a coach -- there are rumors Witten may look to reunite with Garrett in the northeast. 

Bryant would like the Cowboys to know they don't need Witten, because he has an idea.

"Give me the role they gave Witten," he tweeted. "[This is not a] shot at Witten. Let me play with [Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard, Michael Gallup, Amari Cooper, Randall Cobb and Blake Jarwin]. Think about it. In the meantime, I'm working." 

Witten's return to the NFL from a stretch as an ESPN broadcaster didn't go as envisioned. 

The Cowboys fell flat with an 8-8 record and no playoff appearance, and the usually sure-handed tight end suffered a curious number of dropped passes. His 529 receiving yards and four touchdowns were admirable, but that's also his lowest yardage tally since his rookie season in 2003, and the team caught a lot of flak for overplaying Witten in situations better suited for the more athletic Blake Jarwin -- Jarwin having continually proven himself a playmaker with the ball in his hands.

The latter is what McCarthy is keying in on as he moves from the building of his coaching staff to player evaluation, and Witten suddenly finds himself an odd man out with Garrett no longer in charge. It would be an intriguing concept to see Bryant -- once one of the most dominant wide receivers in all the land -- move to tight end, but it might be crazy enough to work. The problem is he's been out of football for two full seasons after rehabbing a torn Achilles and subsequently/wisely leveling himself mentally in preparation to return to the NFL, but his absence from the game might make for a tough sell to McCarthy. 

And the Cowboys aren't forcing anyone on him, be it coach or player. 

If they could add Bryant at tight end without further curbing the progress of Jarwin, it might be worth a shot. Bryant is clearly flexible and wants to wear the Star again, and while team owner Jerry Jones wouldn't be adverse to it -- given his continued personal relationship with Bryant -- team exec Stephen Jones might not exactly amicable following the toxicity of the divorce two years ago.

It is the NFL, though, and stranger things have happened. Like, say, Garrett coaching the Giants and Witten possibly joining him?

Exactly. 

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