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Dez Bryant Backs Off Boast, Says Calvin Johnson Standard Bearer

Photo by The Washington Post.

Photo by The Washington Post.

A day after saying on a Dallas radio station that he could do anything Detroit record-setting receiver Calvin Johnson could do, Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant backed off his statements like a cornerback trying to cover a deep route.

On a conference call with Detroit writers, Bryant dismissed the comparison, saying: “I wasn’t comparing myself at all. I think a lot of people took it the wrong way. Clearly, I said there’s no comparison. That’s something that I do not do. I don’t compare myself with anybody.”

Bryant’s explanation of his original comments was weak. He said he intended to say he and other receivers can catch the ball as Johnson does. Huh?

“It’s just a pride thing, like I said,” Bryant added. “Calvin Johnson set the standard, set that bar high for every wide receiver in the league. I think it’s the respect, it’s really respect to him that he makes receivers like us go out there.

“He broke Jerry Rice’s [single-season yards] record last year. That’s setting the bar. So for every receiver in the league, that’s what I’m saying.”

Bryant said on the radio program: “I believe I can do whatever he can do. It’s just a pride thing. When it comes to football, just being on the field, it’s a mindset and having a mentality.”

Lions receiver Nate Robinson scoffed at the notion that Bryant was on Johnson’s level.

“Well, you know, Nate’s right — I’m not Calvin Johnson, I’m Dez Bryant,” Bryant said on SportsCenter. “I didn’t open up a can of worms. I wasn’t going out for nobody.

“(The Cowboys) haven’t really said anything to me about it because they all heard what I said,” he added to ESPN. “I don’t take back anything I said because I didn’t say anything wrong. I think it’s how a lot of people are looking at it. I’m not lying about anything I’m saying. I take pride in my game. There’s a lot of stuff that I believe I can do, just besides football.”

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