Former NFL receiver Dez Bryant spent eight of his nine seasons in Dallas. And though Bryant enjoyed plenty of success there, finishing his Cowboys tenure with a franchise-best 73 touchdown catches, the three-time Pro Bowler apparently didn’t care much for his head coach, Jason Garrett.
After Garrett was let go as Giants offensive coordinator Tuesday, shouldering the blame for New York’s disastrous performance in Tampa Bay Monday night, Bryant was quick to chime in, throwing shade at his former coach by suggesting rookie Kadarius Toney will be better off without him.
Toney, who New York selected with their first selection (20th overall) in this year’s draft, has shown flashes, breaking out for 189 yards—the most ever by a Giants rookie—in Week 5. However, injuries and a lack of consistency have plagued him throughout his debut season. While those growing pains are to be expected of a player making the leap from college to the pros, New York’s offensive volatility under Garrett, an unimaginative play-caller who rarely makes adjustments, has not helped his development.
There’s plenty of blame to go around for the Giants’ struggles with head coach Joe Judge and GM Dave Gettleman both candidates to be replaced after the season. But New York’s offense was a special kind of awful under Garrett, producing a league-worst 42 touchdowns in his 26 games as offensive coordinator. Before that, Garrett reached the playoffs in just three of his nine seasons as Cowboys head coach, squandering talented offenses led by Tony Romo, Bryant, Dak Prescott, DeMarco Murray, Ezekiel Elliott, Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, Jason Witten, Amari Cooper and Travis Frederick, among other big-name contributors.
After his candor was predictably met with backlash, Bryant elaborated on his criticism, acknowledging that while Garrett is a “great dude,” he never respected his “philosophy towards players and the game.” Bryant also accused Garrett of misusing his players, many of whom made big sacrifices for the chance to wear a star on their helmet.
Though Bryant’s pointed remarks could come off as piling on, kicking a man when he’s down, many on social media shared his sentiment, lambasting Garrett, a career underachiever, for receiving so many undeserved opportunities.
With Garrett gone from the equation, the Giants will reportedly turn to senior offensive assistant Freddie Kitchens, best known for his one-year stint as head coach of the Browns, as their primary play-caller.