New Orleans Saints sign ex-Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, source says

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After the free agent wide receiver signed with the Saints on Wednesday, Garrett and several players went out of their way to mention how happy they were for Bryant, who's expected to practice for the first time with New Orleans on Thursday. A person familiar with the decision confirmed the move today, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the roster move has not been announced.

Bryant spent his first eight years in the National Football League with Dallas and last season caught 69 passes for 838 yards and six touchdowns, including a 50-yard scoring play, for the Cowboys.

The Dallas Cowboys did Dez Bryant no favors by cutting him as late as they did, and he lingered available through half a season.

Bryant visited New Orleans on Monday, working out with fellow wideouts Brandon Marshall and Kamar Aiken. A rising star in the league, Thomas has recorded 70 catches for 880 yards and five touchdowns in only eight games so far this season. He signed his last Cowboys contract right after that, but has not approached that level of production since - a central reason Dallas released him in April.

Bryant, a former first-round pick out of Oklahoma State, has been waiting for the right deal to come up and turned down an offer prior to the season from the Cleveland Browns.

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Bryant will have to know his place in the Saints' pecking order, but playing with a quarterback like Brees should help that. At the same time, New Orleans is without deep threat Ted Ginn Jr., who is now on injured reserve and won't be eligible to return until the final few weeks of the season, if he's ready by then.

For an idea on the lack of wide receiver production outside of Thomas, Ted Ginn Jr., who is on injured reserve with a knee injury, hasn't played since Week 4, yet his 22 targets still rank as the second-most among the wideouts behind Thomas.

The Saints understand that they are going to need any and every edge they can get throughout the rest of the season, and Dez Bryant pushes that red zone percentage even higher in all likelihood.

New Orleans also has two games remaining against division rival Carolina (6-2). "He's a good player".