When guard/tackle Byron Bell officially made the Dallas Cowboys roster on Saturday, it was a dream come true for the Greenville native to play for his hometown team.
But the true payoff didn't come until Wednesday when Bell tipped the scales at 316 pounds for the third time since June.
That he was under 320 pounds meant he collected a third bonus check of $150,000, once before mini- camp, once before training camp and once before the start of the season.
"$450,000 easy," Bell said with a satisfied smile Thursday in the Cowboys locker room at The Star in Frisco. "I need all of that. Give me all that."
Bell got all of that.
But he also got something more, a change in eating habits that should serve him well, considering obesity runs in his family and his father died at the age of 29 of a heart attack.
It also made him a better player, thus helping secure his spot on the roster so he could collect all of his money.
"It helped me," Bell said. "I could breathe better, my conditioning is better, allowing me to e around the ball more. Losing that weight helped. Just hustling more. I guess in the past I would block somebody and just stand around and watch. Now I'm getting down field. The coaches saw that. I'm also so opening my sets quicker."
Bell, a seven-year veteran who played with the Carolina Panthers, Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings, signed with the Cowboys in March to provide veteran depth and as a possible starting option at left guard or right tackle.
He heads into the season as a reserve at all four guard and tackles spots.
But he's excited about being at home and finally playing for the Cowboys. Greenville is 50 miles from Dallas. A smiling Bell calls it an honor that his family, friends and Omega Psi Phi fraternity brothers will get to see him Sunday at AT&T Stadium, whether he plays or not.
The biggest honor is just being a member of the Cowboys and having a place in the locker room, which he says is different than anywhere he's been.
"I have seen everything," Bell said. "I have played with Heisman Trophy winners. I have played with some good players now. I played with some Hall of Famers. Nothing is like this. The Star. The atmosphere. It's just different. From the cafeteria to the scouting department. It's different. It's a good difference. The owner cares about us."