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No rookie ritual for WR Bryant

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SAN ANTONIO » Dallas Cowboys receiver Roy Williams can’t even get his 4-year-old son to carry his shoulder pads.

"Man, I can’t get anybody to carry them," Williams joked yesterday.

A day after the drama created when first-round pick Dez Bryant refused to carry the veteran’s pads off the field after practice, a long-standing rookie ritual, Williams said it was "not a big deal" and that the teammates were fine with each other.

Bryant didn’t comment while jogging off the field with cameramen and reporters following him.

There are some who believe Bryant could challenge Williams for the starting job opposite Pro Bowl receiver Miles Austin. The rookie has been impressive in all four sessions so far, and during some post-practice drills yesterday dunked the ball over the goalpost after catching a pass in the end zone.

Bryant said Sunday that he was drafted to play football and not carry another player’s pads.

"Because it’s Dez vs. Roy, that’s why it’s a big story," Williams said. "It’s all in fun. I had to do it and I was the seventh pick. … If you don’t want to do it, it’s not like I’m going to put a gun to your head and make you do it."

Williams said he still remembers carrying Tai Streets’ pads when he was a rookie with the Detroit Lions in 2004, and paying for plenty of meals – something he expects Bryant to eventually do, too.

"He wants to concentrate on football, and we’re going to let him concentrate on football," Williams said. "But when we go out to eat, I’m going to be a little bit more hungry and thirsty."


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