So far rookie phenom receiver Dez Bryant has done everything right in training camp. And for two days, he and veteran Roy Williams have said all the right things about their competition to start opposite Miles Austin.
But things got interesting Sunday when Williams asked the high priced and highly touted rookie to carry his pads as part of the traditional rookie hazing rite of passage that goes on in every NFL training camp.
Remember Bill Parcells forcing Julius Jones and others to bring him water in the middle of practice?
Well, Bryant wants no part of the process and refused Williams' request.
"I'm not doing it," Bryant said. "I feel like I was drafted to play football, not carry another player's pads. If I was a free agent, it would still be the same thing. I just feel like I'm here to play football. I'm here to try to help win a championship, not carry someone's pads. I'm saying that out of no disrespect to [anyone]."
Williams said it's not personal, just football tradition. He said he did it when he was a high pick with the Lions. He said Bryant is out of line for refusing.
"Everybody has to go through it," Williams said. "I had to go through it. 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. I carried pads. I paid for dinners. I paid for lunches. I did everything I was supposed to do, because I didn't want to be that guy."
Of course, making it most interesting is that Bryant is the darling of camp so far. He has wowed with his play on the field and already won the hearts of many of want him to supplant the maligned Williams in the starting lineup.
One wonders how much support Williams will get from his teammates. Will any of the other veteran receivers like Miles Austin or Patrick Crayton join the fight and ask Bryant to carry their pads?
Williams has gotten support from one NFL veteran outside the Cowboys locker room. Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman weighed in on his twitter account with what should be done to Bryant: "Dump his azz in the COLD TUB."
Clarence E. Hill Jr.