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Cowboys' Bryant shuns rookie ritual, won't carry Williams' pads

  • By Associated Press
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SAN ANTONIO -- Dallas Cowboys rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant said he's in training camp to catch passes, not carry somebody else's shoulder pads after practice.

When wideout Roy Williams handed his pads to Bryant on Sunday after the Cowboys' morning session, the first-round draft pick didn't carry them. Veteran players traditionally hand their pads to a rookie after practice.

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"I feel like I was drafted to play football, not carry another player's pads," Bryant said. "If I was a free agent, it would still be the same thing."

Williams said every rookie has to go through such rituals during their first NFL season. He said he carried pads and paid for meals when he was a rookie for the Detroit Lions in 2004.

"No matter if you're a No. 1 pick or the 7,000th pick, you've still got to do something when you're a rookie," Williams said.

When Bill Parcells was with the Cowboys, the team's top pick was responsible for taking water to the coach during breaks at training camp. Current coach Wade Phillips doesn't have such a requirement.

While some believe Bryant could challenge Williams for the starting job opposite Pro Bowl receiver Miles Austin, there have been no apparent issues between the receivers. After camp opened Saturday with a practice without pads, Williams called Bryant a great player and said he was glad the Cowboys drafted the former Oklahoma State star.

"Controversy is what everybody loves, try to pin him against me, me against him, and it's not going to work," Williams said Saturday.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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