It only took two weeks following the end of the season for Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant to find trouble again. Bryant reportedly was involved in a physical altercation at Club LIV in Miami on Sunday night. After the embarrassing offseason Bryant went through in 2011, he’d better get it together before a repeat in 2012. If not, he might not be around for next season.
I’ve been supporting and defending this kid ever since he turned in a solid performance in the Cowboys’ overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 13 and now he does something like this. The frustration I feel parallels that of the Cowboys organization and all its fans; just as it seemed Bryant was turning things around, he goes off and does something like this.
Bryant wasn’t arrested in Miami on Sunday night, but the fact the Miami police were aware of this incident is more than enough for the Cowboys to be genuinely concerned again.
Bryant was sued multiple times in 2011 for unpaid jewelry, sporting event tickets, rent and a loan from a New York finance firm. The Cowboys even hired an accounting firm to help the young receiver get things together financially, but this is different. It’s one thing for a kid to spend a lot of money when he gets his first big pay day, but it’s another when he gets into a bar fight.
Again, Bryant was arrested and there’s been no charges pressed against him at this point, but he had no business being in such a situation in the first place, especially after the offseason he had following his rookie year.
Bryant turned in a fabulous second NFL season, catching 63 passing for 928 yards and nine touchdowns. He developed into a very reliable target for Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, especially toward the end of the season with a turning point in the fourth quarter of the loss to Cardinals.
Now Bryant needs to take the next step in becoming the Cowboys’ top receiver. That not only means improving as a player on the field, but off it as well. In fact, his actions off the field are even more important because he’ll soon be looked to by the Cowboys in clutch situations. You can’t count on a kid who doesn’t know how to avoid trouble.
The message to Bryant has already been sent by his mentor, David Wells, who told him to “get his ass back to Dallas.” Not only that, but Bryant needs to stay in Texas. Nobody can tell him how to live his life as far as what he likes to do for fun, but if he wants to go to a nightclub, then Bryant needs to stay out of trouble while he’s there. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is a forgiving guy, especially to his players, but eventually Bryant will cross the line if he doesn’t straighten up.
Follow Jeric Griffin on Twitter @JericGriffin