NFL: Agonizing wait ends happily with Bryant to Cowboys
By SCHUYLER DIXON
Associated Press Writer
DESOTO, Texas — An agonizing two-hour wait for Dez Bryant ended in a raucous celebration Thursday night when the Dallas Cowboys traded up to get the receiver with the 24th pick in the NFL draft.
The former Oklahoma State star who grew up two hours east of Dallas faced questions about his character after he was suspended for all but three games in his final college season after lying to the NCAA about his relationship with Deion Sanders.
Bryant didn't even care that he wasn't the first receiver taken when his long-silent cell phone finally rang and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was on the other end. Less than a minute later, Bryant was mobbed by family and friends chanting "Cowboys, Cowboys" inside the palatial Dallas-area home of one of his advisers.
"I was praying that Dallas would trade up to get me," Bryant said. "I couldn't believe it really happened."
But it did take a while.
Bryant sat happily with a toddler in the first few minutes of the draft, but soon said he needed to go outside. He drifted further away from the crowd as the minutes and picks piled up, finally holing up in a small workout room with his girlfriend, watching the draft on TV.
Bryant was sitting on the floor, his idle cell phone beside him, when Georgia Tech receiver Demaryius Thomas was taken 22nd by the Denver Broncos. That slot was popular for Bryant in mock drafts when New England had the pick, but the Broncos just dumped receiver Brandon Marshall in a trade.
Two picks later, though, everything changed.
Bryant was considered one of the top receivers in the draft after piling up 2,425 yards and 29 touchdowns in 28 games at Oklahoma State.