Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones hasn't spoken to Dez Bryant lately. He hasn't had to worry about the wideout since releasing him in April 2018. Jones hasn't even consulted his team over whether to bring him back.
The general manager hasn't stopped thinking about Bryant, either—usually during quiet, private moments. Like when Jones is in the bathroom.
Jones addressed a potential reunion with Bryant in the broadest of terms at the NFL combine Thursday with comments that bordered on explicit.
"I haven't talked to Dez," Jones said, per The Athletic's Jon Machota. "But I have been thinking about it a lot in the shower. I'm thinking about it."
The most important thing Jones hasn't done is rule out a return to Dallas for his former star receiver.
That's only going to ramp up speculation this summer about Bryant—who spent last season training and recovering from an Achilles tear in 2018—as he prepares for a comeback attempt.
In Bryant's last NFL season, the receiver played all 16 games with 12.1 yards per catch and six touchdowns but missed out on reaching the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the third straight year. The Cowboys finished 9-7, missed the playoffs and moved on from Bryant the following spring.
The wideout didn't sign with another team until November. Two days later, in his first practice with the New Orleans Saints, Bryant tore his Achilles tendon and was placed on injured reserve.
Should the 31-year-old make it back to the league, he'll have gone three years without catching a pass in the NFL.
As far as Dallas is concerned, Jones could chance giving Bryant a limited role without sacrificing much in terms of offense. The Cowboys passing game ranked second with 296.9 yards per game, accounting for 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 2019.
Of course, there are two other players responsible for Dallas' success on offense who need contracts before Bryant can enter the picture: Amari Cooper is slated to become a free agent in March, while contract extension talks have been ongoing between quarterback Dak Prescott and Jones for two years. Both are immediate concerns for the Cowboys. Bryant is much less of a priority.
Still, the wideout has done well to keep himself in the conversation in Dallas. Bryant was recently seen working out and running routes with Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes.
This likely won't be the last we hear of Bryant as free agency sorts itself out, and it may not take much to convince the man in charge of personnel decisions in Dallas to get a deal done.