Only four games into his NFL comeback, Dez Bryant is set to face the Dallas Cowboys. The Baltimore Ravens wide receiver will square off against his former team Tuesday. As a member of the Cowboys, the franchise he spent the first eight years of his career with, Bryant emerged as one of the best pass-catchers in the NFL. Bryant's Cowboys tenure didn't end on a high note, but the former All-Pro holds no ill-will toward his previous employer.
"For the most part, it's water under the bridge," Bryant said Saturday. "That's two years that I had time to get myself together. You have to move forward with life, because life [isn't] going to wait on you. Time waits on no one. So, I had to get myself together [and] move forward. I'm back in my hometown colors – the purple – [and] I'm excited about that. I'm here – I'm a Raven."
Bryant caught 531 passes for 7,459 yards and 73 touchdowns in eight seasons with the Cowboys. He recorded three 1,000-yard seasons and three consecutive double-digit touchdown seasons from 2012 to 2014, while earning three Pro Bowl appearances. From 2010 to 2017, Bryant ranked second in the NFL in touchdown catches, eighth in yards, and 12th in receptions. The Cowboys released Bryant in 2018, with Bryant pointing out on social media the franchise's decision to move on wasn't his.
"If I didn't have my edge I got it now," Bryant said on Twitter. "I'm sorry they got to feel me it's personal... it's very personal."
Bryant wasn't able to return to an NFL game for three seasons due to suffering a torn Achilles tendon in his first week of practice with the New Orleans Saints in 2018. He sat out the 2019 season in an attempt to come back to the league. The Ravens signed Bryant to the practice squad in October and me was promoted to the active roster in November, staying there over the past month.
Even though Bryant's Cowboys' days are behind him, the franchise still remains close to his heart. Bryant continued to praise owner Jerry Jones, even if things didn't end up the way he wanted in Dallas.
"He's very passionate, I'm very passionate. I think that's why our relationship clicked the way that it clicked," Bryant said. "The one thing I'll always have for Mr. Jones is respect. I'm thankful that he drafted me and gave me the opportunity to play for his franchise – I'm very thankful for that. I'm a Texas boy, so I grew up a Cowboys fan. I'm thankful for that, but I'm here now. I'm excited to be a Baltimore Raven. I'm looking forward to going up against those guys on Tuesday."