Dez Bryant was on the free-agent market for seven months after the Cowboys released him in April, and now they are aware of the challenge they will face when they match up against the Saints, the wide receiver’s new team.
Introducing your newest Saint, @DezBryant! ✖️
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) November 7, 2018
Many of his former teammates — including coach Jason Garrett and running back Ezekiel Elliott — reacted to Bryant signing a one-year contract with the Saints on Wednesday as they shared support of their former teammate and excitement over facing him on a new team.
Thank you brotha done deal!! https://t.co/owjJNGfJQ0
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) November 7, 2018
Garrett said he was happy for Bryant and knows he will make an immediate impact for the Saints.
“I’m really happy for him and that opportunity,” Garrett said Wednesday, per USA Today. “I know it’s important to him. He wants to finish his career strong, done such a great job for this organization, has been an impact player in this league over the course of his eight years playing. … It seems like a real good opportunity for him and I know it’ll help their team.”
Elliott echoed Garrett’s sentiment, saying he’s excited for the challenge of facing New Orleans with Bryant.
“It’ll be exciting to face Dez,” Elliott told reporters. “He goes up and attacks the ball better than I’ve seen anyone. There’s nothing like adding another sharp tool to your toolbox. … It’s a scary offense.”
Elliott added: “I think it’s taken him this long on his end. Not because teams didn’t want him, but he was waiting for the right team to go to, the right fit on his end.”
According to ESPN.com, Bryant’s one-year deal with the Saints will pay him a prorated base salary of $600,000 for the remainder of the season with an additional $500,000 in incentives possible.
Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford praised Bryant’s training this fall and is confident the receiver is in good shape, despite missing the first half of the season.
“He looks like an animal,” Crawford said. “He’s been working, looks ripped, ready to go and in shape. I’m happy for him.”
Cornerback Jourdan Lewis, who repeatedly matched up against Bryant in practice in the past, indicated the Cowboys will have more to worry about when they face New Orleans.
“A lot of people think he can’t play,” Lewis said, “but I’ve seen him every single day. He still has a lot of juice left in him … They already had a lot of talent on that offense so that’s just another thing we’ve got to worry about.