- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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So did Dez Bryant actually pay for the famous $54,000 dinner bill back in 2010?
Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones didn’t mention Bryant by name, but in answering a question about rookie hazing, he noted a rookie player having a famed restaurant lower the bill.
Back in 2010, Bryant, then a rookie, refused to carry the shoulder pads of veteran receiver Roy Williams. It was a tradition for the rookie players to carry shoulder pads of veterans after training camp practices, and once they made the 53-man roster, to pay for a huge dinner with their position group.
After the Cowboys returned to Dallas to start their season, Williams and several other veteran players went to Pappa Bros. Steakhouse and made sure Bryant had the dinner of his life.
When the night was over, Bryant had a tab of $54,896.
Or did he?
“I’ve had to ask a couple of times, a couple of places out here to rethink, let’s say a liquor bill,” Jones said on KRLD-FM on Tuesday morning. “They’ve taken a rookie out and hung him with a huge liquor bill. I might tell you one of the finest businesses in this town who may have charged one of our rookies too much -- well, a lot of money, they just absolutely took it off the bill and gave it to him. When he had an enormous, for any of our standards, charge, that business gave it to him. It was Pappa Steakhouse, to give you an idea. That’s having compassion. It was overdone, and they just decided we’ll make our contribution to the do-right rule here.”
No word from Bryant as to whether he did pay for the entire bill, but at that time, several veteran players did help pay for a portion of it.
However, one player who attended the dinner said in a text message: "nobody paid, but from what I heard, Jerry picked it up."