Panthers open season with 16-8 win over Cowboys

Jason Garrett defends his players and coaches

Jason Garrett defends his players and coaches

Dez Bryant spent Week 1 of the National Football League season as a spectator for the first time in his career.

After a late march by the visiting Dallas Cowboys, the Panthers hung on for a 16-8 victory in their first home season opener since 2013.

The former Cowboys wide receiver is still without a team and watched as his former teammates could only muster 170 yards in the passing game with no receiving touchdowns.

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It drove one Cowboys fan to tweet at Bryant, who is still a free agent and appears comfortable waiting until the right opportunity presents itself, by all means asking the 29-year-old to return to Dallas. When Bryant saw that offensive coordinator Scott Linehan did not comment after the game, he chimed in. The Patriots looked like a viable option for Bryant after Danny Amendola's departure, Edelman's four-game suspension, and a series of training camp injuries.

Bryant turned down an offer from the Ravens not long after he was cut.

Dez Bryant has made no secret of his respect for the New England Patriots. He spoke with the Browns during training camp, but the sides could not reach a deal, though that could be revisited.

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