Dez Bryant wants to return to football. That doesn’t mean he’d consider playing in the new start-up XFL.
The WWE-backed league launched last weekend to pretty strong fanfare. Ratings for the first weekend of games were strong, and while not NFL-level, the football itself was pretty decent and watchable. Obviously, the AAF got off to a similar strong start last season and flamed out in a big way. With Vince McMahon’s money behind it, and ESPN and FOX pushing the league pretty hard, the XFL seems like it has a real shot to stick, though.
There are a number of former NFL guys playing in the league, but it is mostly those who had cups of coffee or spent a few seasons in the league. Former Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Cardale Jones, a former star at Ohio State, and Landry Jones, a standout at Oklahoma who had a long tenure as backup for the Pittsburgh Steelers, are effectively the faces of the league. Dez Bryant would immediately become the biggest name by a large margin, if he hypothetically joined the XFL, but he is not interested in doing so. From USA Today:
“Nah, not at all. I know I can still play. That’s not an issue for me. I have high confidence in myself. No disrespect to the XFL, I just know I can play in (the NFL), that’s not a question.”
Dez Bryant has had a season away from football, and now he wants to return. https://t.co/FxxqqLyYPv
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) February 14, 2020
Instead, Bryant wants to make the jump back into the NFL, after two years away from the sport. In his last Cowboys season, 2017, Dez caught 69 passes for 838 yards and six touchdowns. His last three years, two of which were shortened by injury, were far less productive than his 2012-2014 prime, but he was still a pretty effective pass catcher in 2016 and 2017.
He was released by Dallas in April 2018. After wide speculation about his future, he signed with the New Orleans Saints midway through that season, but just two days later, he suffered a brutal torn achilles tendon in practice.
Hopefully he gets a chance to try out somewhere. His career ending that way would be very unfortunate.