OXNARD, Calif. – After an in-practice scuffle with cornerback Tyler Patmon made national news over the weekend, Dez Bryant on Monday got back to business as usual: good old-fashioned competition.
The All-Pro receiver lined up against first-round cornerback Byron Jones in a compete drill, meaning a selected matchup by head coach Jason Garrett in front of the entire team. Jones had tight coverage and caused the incompletion, prompting Bryant to congratulate the rookie.
"I had my eyes glued to the ball," Bryant said. "He just made an outstanding play. He ripped it out. I had to congratulate him because I sure was trying to bring it in."
Overall the first-team offense had a solid day, with Bryant making a difficult catch on Mo Claiborne over the middle in the two-minute drill – one of Tony Romo's six straight completions on a touchdown drive. Bryant also made a spectacular one-handed catch over Patmon.
He even took a few punt return reps rotating with Cole Beasley and Lance Dunbar, though Bryant said he's mainly keeping his legs warm between practice periods. He's highly unlikely to be a full-time option on special teams. [embeddedad0]
Fresh off signing a five-year, $70 million contract that validates his place as one of football's most dynamic players, all eyes are certainly on Bryant in camp. And reports on Monday stated he'll be featured in a future issue of Rolling Stone.
Bryant declined to discuss that, though. Here in early August, he's focused on football.
"I'm not a celebrity, man," he said. "God blessed me with a gift and I'm just trying my best to take full advantage of it each and every day and try to stay as positive as I can because I know young ones are watching me, including my own."