Former Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant shot back at a perceived slight from Stephen Jones in a tweet Friday afternoon.
Responding from comments by the Cowboys’ vice president on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Bryant, who is still looking for another team after being released by Dallas, said he was being painted as a scapegoat for the team’s offensive struggles a year ago.
Stephen Jones said quarterback Dak Prescott struggled to trust the offensive system “with Dez Bryant in his ear.”
“Here we go with that scapegoat [stuff],” Bryant posted on Twitter. “I charged everything to the game and went the other way.. y’all know what the real problem is .. don’t put it on me with that bulls---.. garbage ass play calling.. Everybody lined up in the same spot for 17 weeks.”
In a later post on Twitter, Bryant said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was “clueless” and accused Travis Frederick and Sean Lee of pushing him out of Dallas.
“[Stephen Jones] is not clueless. Jerry was the only one who was clueless,” Bryant wrote. “[Stuff] was planned to get me out Ask Travis [Frederick] and my brother snake Lee I mean Sean Lee.”
After practice, Lee responded with a strong defense against Bryant’s accusations. “[The idea] that I can get anybody off the team and have any input on a roster is absurd,” Lee said. “I love Dez and I want the best for him. You know, to be honest, we did butt heads, because I wanted Dez to be more accountable to this team and his teammates. 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.”
Stephen Jones clarified during Friday’s practice that he has nothing but respect for Bryant. Jones said his comments were misconstrued and that he was saying that players such as Jason Witten and Bryant were always in Prescott’s ear because they wanted the ball.
“I certainly in no way intended to be negative,” Jones said. “He knows what we think of him. Obviously these are tough times in terms how this has turned out. Dez is thinking about his future and certainly it’s not easy on anybody. We all know. No one knows more about what I think of Dez than me and it certainly wasn’t intended to be negative.”
Jones declined to comment on whether Bryant’s former teammates were involved in his departure.
“I can’t speak to that. I can speak to myself, which is I think the world of Dez,” he said. “The guys who catch the ball want the ball. They let their quarterback know that sometimes. I was a quarterback. I understand that. Certainly in no way was it intended to be negative.”
Frederick said he was disappointed with a former teammate leveling such an accusation.
“One of the unifying things we have as players is we’re teammates and that we all played this game and we all sacrifice together,” Frederick said. “It’s disappointing when you hear guys turn against each other. But I think in the end Dez was a great teammate of mine and I’d still consider him a friend.”