OXNARD, Calif. – While Dez Bryant was rifling off scathing tweets about his former team Friday afternoon, the Dallas Cowboys were on the practice field in Oxnard – their second practice of training camp.
Bryant blamed “garbage a-- playcalling” for his down year in 2017, and referred to linebacker Sean Lee as a “snake” for having a role in Bryant’s release from the Cowboys this offseason.
Also mentioned in the tweet storm was a “clueless” Jerry Jones and “disloyal” fans.
The Cowboys learned of – and responded to – the comments as they left the practice field Friday evening.
Here’s how the subjects of Bryant’s ire responded to it:
In a brief but firm comment to the media, Lee acknowledged that he and Bryant “butted heads” during Dez’s tenure in Dallas, but that it was because he “wanted Dez to be more accountable.”
“First, to say that I can get anybody off the team and have any input on the roster is absurd. Second, I love Dez and I want the best for him,” Lee said. “To be honest, we did butt heads because I wanted Dez to be more accountable to this team and to his teammates. And to be honest with you, a lot of the team felt that way. I think he needs to look at himself and hold himself accountable.”
Lee ended his comment with a “thank you” and walked away before answering additional questions.
Frederick was mentioned in the same keystroke as “Snake Lee” when Bryant tweeted about those responsible for his ousting from Dallas.
The stalwart center hasn’t been known to have a beef with Bryant – or any other player – but is among the collective “Garrett guys” Bryant has previously alluded to as the reason for his release.
Frederick shot down the notion that he could’ve been responsible.
“I think you’d find it hard to find anyone in the NFL that has personnel input in your fifth year,” he said. “So I certainly didn’t have any input in that.”
He also lauded Dez as a teammate.
“I thought Dez was a great teammate,” Frederick said. “I would argue that he was one of the best teammates I ever had. I liked the way he played ball and I enjoyed the passion that he brought to the game, so I don’t really know where he’s coming from that.”
“It’s always disappointing to hear teammates turn against each other, because it is such a tight brotherhood. I think that’s what makes football so special.
The Cowboys executive vice president clarified his comments – which were at the heart of the controversy to begin with – about Dez’s impact on Dak Prescott.
He said it wasn’t intended to be negative and mentioned Jason Witten as an example of “great players” who demand the ball.
“You’ve got great players like Dez and Witten they want the ball, everybody sees it,” he said. “It’s on every team. The great players, the great receivers, the guys who catch the ball, they want the ball. They let the quarterback know that sometimes. I was a quarterback so understand that. It certainly in no way was it intended to be negative.”
SiriusXM also posted the full quote from the initial interview, which mirrored Jones’ clarification Friday.
Linehan, who, as the offensive coordinator would be the main focus of the “garbage a-- playcalling” accusation, declined much comment on Bryant’s tweets.
"I'm not commenting on it,” he said. “We're focusing on getting everything together this year and having a great camp and that's really our mindset right now."