Dez Bryant praises Jon Kitna

IRVING, Texas -- In Dez Bryant's rookie season with the Dallas Cowboys he received snaps with the second-team offense because he was behind Miles Austin and Roy Williams in the depth chart.

The second-team quarterback was Jon Kitna.

Bryant praised Kitna for helping develp him during that 2010 season. In 12 games, Bryant finished with 45 catches for 561 yards and six touchdowns. He also returned two punts for scores.

"Man, just keep in a person's ear, I know for me individually, I'm excited," Bryant said of Kitna, who re-joined the Cowboys on Wednesday. "Kit is a big reason why my career started the way that it did and I can't thank him enough. Just to see him here, I feel good."

Kitna become an on-the-field mentor to Bryant, helping him master the offense and understand how defenses play different coverages.

"It's nice for him," Kitna said when told about Bryant's comments. "Chad Johnson was very similar to that. ... You come in with a certain perception of what you think the league is going to be like and you figure out it's going to take more work than you probably thought it was going to, and then the light goes on and you feel like you can be special player in this league. I'm excited for him and what it means for his career and for his future after football."

This isn't the first time a wide receiver has heaped praise on Kitna. Williams talked about the close relationship he forged with Kitna when the two played for the Detroit Lions and continued when they became Cowboys.'

Coach Jason Garrett is big on having the right type of player in his locker room. Garrett looks for leaders who show it on and off the field. In Kitna's case, the quarterback demonstrated it with Bryant away from the field.

"I'm going to be always be thankful and always appreciate that from him," Bryant said. "I can't thank him enough. I give a lot of credit and success go to Kit. My career started because of Kit. He always talked to me every day. I will never forget. He always stayed in my ear. He always stayed on me. He always told me I had the potential to be something."