2020 NFL free agency: Cowboys’ Jerry Jones ‘won’t dismiss’ possible reunion with Dez Bryant


Things are looking up for Dez Bryant lately, as he works to return to NFL form. The former First-Team All-Pro wide receiver has been exceedingly vocal about wanting to return not only to the league itself, but he specifically named his beloved Cowboys as his No. 1 “dream” destination — going so far as to note his willingness to accept a role as either a red zone target or to convert to tight end and possibly replace Jason Witten in the process. None of Bryant’s statements have fallen on deaf ears in Dallas, with owner Jerry Jones not only taking it all in, but also mulling the possibility of a reunion in 2020.

Few humans walking this earth can articulate their point like Jerry Jones, the Hall of Fame owner almost always good for a classic quip or sound byte during his interviews. His mic skills were again at the ready when he was asked about Bryant from his sit-down with media at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, noting while he hasn’t yet spoken to Bryant formally about a potential return, it is swirling around his mind at odd moments of his day.

“I have not talked to Dez directly,” Jones said. “I have been thinking about it a lot in the shower. I have been. I’m not dismissing it.”

Images of Jones with body wash aside, the statement is key for Bryant’s hopes. It also mirrors the sentiments of team exec Stephen Jones, who recently left the door open for Bryant to potentially walk through soon. And when the franchise’s all-time leader in receiving touchdowns heard the elder Jones’ words, he could barely contain himself.

Let’s get it!” he wrote ecstatically on social media. 

For weeks now, sources have advised CBS Sports the odds of the two sides renewing vows has ballooned to a steady 50/50, and that’s the highest they’ve ever been following a toxic divorce in 2018. Bryant has since gone on to sign with the New Orleans Saints, but suffered a torn Achilles before he could take the field for them, and has used the last two NFL seasons to recover from that injury as well as to work through personal demons such as depression and clinical anxiety.

And while Jones is impressed with the latter, he still admittedly has concerns about the former. 

“He’s had a serious injury,” he noted. “He’s been out a little bit. But Dez is a great player. The obvious is the obvious.”

As far as the the aforementioned contentious air from 2018 goes, well, it never once permeated the relationship between Bryant and Jones. Much of the angst was aimed at head coach Jason Garrett and a group of unlisted players Bryant labeled as “Garrett guys”, but parting ways with Garrett and hiring Mike McCarthy has the 31-year-old seriously lusting for a homecoming

Jones and Bryant continued their relationship outside of football, and now might return to it on the field. 

“It didn’t end that way with me and him, and it didn’t end that way with me,” Jones confessed. “I understand completely how things can end that way. I’ve seen those types of, those characteristics of people and organizations ending, and those are repairable. 

“They really are.”

And, as it stands, they have been, which is also evidenced in players like All-Pro defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence lobbying to get Bryant back in the locker room.

“If 88 — the X factor — wants a shot, we gotta give him a shot,” Lawrence said. “[The] Cowboys are home to Dez, and he’s always accepted in my book.”

The decision now falls on McCarthy as he surfs the waves of his first free agency stint with the Cowboys. If McCarthy green lights Bryant, a reunion will happen. If not, then not. In the meantime, Bryant has been working out relentlessly as of late — including a well-publicized throwing session with Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes — to make sure NFL teams know he’s hellbent on getting back between the lines in 2020. Several of his workouts have been next door to The Star in Frisco, Texas, giving the Cowboys an up-and-close look at what they’d be adding this coming season, should they choose to.

“The question is, can he perform and can he overcome that injury and get in the kind of shape that it takes to be available — all of that kind of stuff,” Jones said.

Yes, that is the question, and Bryant is dying to answer it — in Dallas.

“I am thinking about it,” said Jones.





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