Quarterback Dak Prescott said he didn't have the clout to influence personnel moves, such has the one that resulted in the Dallas Cowboys releasing wide receiver Dez Bryant.
"I'm in my second year," the 24-year-old Prescott said Saturday night, via multiple reports. "As much as you want to say, 'I want a say-so' or this and that, those guys get paid a lot more than me. That's what those guys get paid to do. That's not my decision."
Hours after the Cowboys severed ties with Bryant on Friday, the three-time Pro Bowl receiver told the NFL Network that certain coaches and players on the team were instrumental in the team's decision to send him walking.
"I'll say this right here: I believe that (head coach Jason) Garrett's guys (were responsible). I would say that," Bryant said. "I believe that. I truly believe that. I won't put no names out, but they know, and I want them to know on this air I know. I'll shoot them a text message and let them know."
Bryant didn't name names, but insinuated a captain or captains worked against him.
Prescott was one of the Cowboys' two offensive captains last season along with tight end Jason Witten. Linebacker Sean Lee, kicker Dan Bailey, defensive end Tyrone Crawford and since-released cornerback Orlando Scandrick were the other captains.
"I mean I'm sure he's hearing stuff, and I'm sure he's getting it from a lot of different ways so I mean I'm not going to finger-point at anybody," Prescott said. "I'm not going to get upset for who he's pointing at or who he thinks did this. So I mean, as I said, it's a business, and it's part of it."
Prescott said it was tough to see Bryant released, saying "it's sad news. That's a brother to me."
"Dez is gonna be a hard guy to replace," Prescott said. "He's a talented guy. He'll be missed."
Bryant, who was scheduled to make $12.5 million in 2018 and count $16.5 million against salary cap, met with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Friday amid speculation that he would be asked to take a pay cut in the wake of declining production the past three seasons.
However, that topic never came up, according to Bryant, and Jones said in a statement released by the team that: "Ultimately we determined it was time to go in a new direction."
Bryant noted that the fact that Jones did not even broach the subject of a pay cut reinforced his belief that other factors were at play in the decision to cut him loose, particularly with the owner stressing what a difficult personal decision it was for him.
"Jerry Jones, he loved me to death, and I loved him, too. I honestly did," said Bryant. "I honestly believe in my heart this was a hard decision for him. When it's five to six guys at a table against one guy, you've got to do it. Like Jerry told me in our meeting, he didn't ask me to take a pay cut. He didn't want that.
"That further lets me believe what I thought a long time ago."
Bryant, 29, had a team-leading 69 receptions for 838 yards and six touchdowns in 2017. He has gone a career-worst 23 regular-season games without a 100-yard performance.
Since signing a five-year, $70 million contract in 2015, Bryant has failed to record a 1,000-yard season or reel in more than eight touchdown receptions in a season.
Bryant was a touchdown machine in the first half of his career with the Cowboys, hauling in 41 scoring passes in a three-season span, capped by a career-high 16 in 2014. He was named a First-Team All-Pro selection that year.
During that spectacular run from 2012-2014, Bryant also averaged 91 receptions and put up at least 1,233 receiving yards in each of the three seasons.
For his career, Bryant appeared in 113 games (99 starts) and amassed 7,459 total yards while registering a franchise-record 73 receiving touchdowns.