The Dallas Cowboys and Dez Bryant weren’t happy about a report early Sunday morning suggesting the standout receiver had missed or been tardy to as many as 20-40 team meetings in his career.
“I got to be America’s most hated,” Bryant said. “We don’t even know who’s saying it. That’s the crazy part about it.
“Tell me when. Tell me, just please tell me. But at the same time, I’m not fixing to lose focus on some he said, she said. We don’t even know who said it, to be honest, because I know exactly what we’ve been building in this organization. It’s totally different. It’s nothing like in the past.
“I refuse to let any of this crazy crap take me off of what we trying to build here. If I was never injured, none of this stuff would be said. At the same time, whoever said it, they got a name. They would have put themselves out there. They didn’t, so they can take that [stuff] and go on about their business.”
Bryant stirred controversy earlier in the week for no-showing two MRI exams scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, and missing team meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Bryant missed those exams because he simply didn’t want to hear bad news about a right knee injury, which has since been diagnosed as a hairline fracture. The Cowboys are calling it “day-to-day,” although Bryant was sidelined for Sunday’s game against the 49ers.
Owner Jerry Jones echoed Bryant’s thought, saying nobody really knows his attendance record over the years even though he acknowledged Bryant has had issues with being on time.
“He’s loved by his teammates. He’s respected by his teammates. He’s respected by me. He’s respected by his coaches,” Jones said. “He has a few foibles. He’s different than me. And so we have to look at those, but his qualities seriously outshine that. Since the beginning of time, meetings and the timeliness of his meetings have been his No. 1 issue.”
Asked if the 20-40 number is accurate, Jones said: “They aren’t correct because only God knows how many meetings one way or the other he’s missed. Really, I’m serious.”
Executive vice president Stephen Jones also seemed irritated when asked about Bryant and his absences/tardiness at meetings.
“I’m so tired of that,” Stephen Jones said. “Dez is Dez. I’m done. No more. No worries. I’m not going to talk about it. Done.”
Latest on Smith
Left tackle Tyron Smith missed his second consecutive game with a back injury, and it was revealed on the network broadcast that Smith has a bulging disk.
Smith had started 55 consecutive games before sitting out last Sunday’s game against Chicago. The hope had been that he could return this week, but now the target date is next week against Cincinnati.
“Tyron has something that probably a huge percent of this league has,” Jerry Jones said. “It’s very common. It’s more like a muscle spasm. I would couch it as a muscle spasm. Treatment is more like that than it is anything to do with what I would consider traditional looks at bulging disks and things like that. It surprised me that he didn’t play today. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he plays against Cincinnati. Not at all.”
Cornerback Orlando Scandrick also missed his second straight game as he deals with injuries in each of his hamstrings.
Dan Bailey has missed field goals in consecutive games for only the third time in his career.
Bailey hooked a 47-yard attempt on the opening drive, his second miss of the season. However, Bailey is dealing with a sore back and Jerry Jones said the team was concerned about it before the game.
Jones said Bailey might not have attempted a longer field goal later in the game. Bailey did convert on three extra points, and knocked in a 22-yarder in the fourth quarter.
“Not surprised at all that he missed the field goal,” Jones said. “Thought that was a pretty good time to check it out. Might not have wanted to try another one during the game — a long field goal. There’s no question that he had a limitation there.”