OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Dez Bryant's daughter wanted some answers about when he might return to playing football.
At first, he tried to ignore the questions, but her persistence provided some motivation to get back in the game.
"You know what, baby, I am going to give it go," he told Isabella Rose.
Bryant then started training and working out every day. Eventually, he became confident that he could make an impact with an NFL team and his agent started making the inquiries.
That path led him to Baltimore where Bryant is looking to boost a passing attack that has languished for much of the season.
Bryant will play against his former team, the Dallas Cowboys, in Week 13, in a game that could be vital to the Ravens' playoff hopes.
"I'm excited, I'm looking forward to it. A lot of those guys on that team I know, I'm real good friends with," Bryant said. "They're helluva football players. Whenever we line up across from one another, it's going to be fun. Like I said, it's going to be an exciting moment."
Last week, Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones said he "couldn't be happier to see Bryant back on the field, adding: " I'm going to be a little worried because I do know how that rascal can go up there and get a ball."
Bryant, 32, played in 113 career games (99 starts), posting 531 receptions for 7,459 yards (14.0 average) and 73 touchdowns over eight years with Dallas. He also has two punt return touchdowns, both of which he recorded as a rookie in 2010. Bryant has also appeared in three playoff games with 15 receptions for 218 yards and two touchdowns.
Bryant said there were no hard feelings after the Cowboys released him in 2018.
"It was under the bridge," Bryant said.
Bryant values his relationship with Jones.
"One thing about Mr. Jones is that he's very passionate and I'm very passionate," Bryant said. "I think that's why our relationship clicked the way it clicked. One thing that I will always have for Mr. Jones is respect. I'm thankful that he drafted me and gave me an opportunity to play for his franchise. I'm very thankful for that. I'm a Texas boy and I grew up a Cowboys fan. ... I'm here now and I'm excited to be a Baltimore Raven. I'm looking forward to going up against those guys on Tuesday."
After signing with the New Orleans Saints in November of 2018, Bryant tore his Achilles in his first practice with the team, ending his season - and some thought, his career.
However, a new opportunity arose in being signed to Baltimore's practice squad on Oct. 27. Bryant made his debut in Week 9 in a 24-10 victory over the Colts, but he did not get a target in his two snaps. He was left off the team the following week in a 23-17 loss to New England.
The Ravens elevated Bryant again last week in a 30-24 overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans. He had his first catch—a 4-yard gain in the third quarter—since Dec 31, 2017. He finished four receptions on five targets for 28 yards.
Bryant was targeted twice against the Steelers this past week but did not catch a pass.
Will Bryant have an expanded role over the final five games?
That's up to the Ravens' coaches and he's fine with that process.
"I feel good physically," Bryant said. "The coaches are doing what they feel is best for me. Sometimes, I think I can bite off more than I can chew. Whatever they have for me, I'm going to be prepared for it. I'm excited. I'm going to let the coaches do what they feel is best and I am just going to follow their lead."