Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant said some very nice things about his former Oklahoma State teammate and current Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon, who was arrested early Sunday morning on aggravated DUI charges. Naturally, Bryant said Blackmon didn’t mean it and he’s not a bad person.
“He is a great guy,” Bryant said. “If you knew him, you’d be like, ‘I can’t believe it.’ At the same time, I just feel like it’s just a lesson he’s going to have to learn.”
Does that last statement mean Bryant has learned his lesson? The last news on the Cowboys’ star receiver was about a fight between he and rapper Lil Wayne at a Miami nightclub in January, less than three weeks after Dallas lost its season finale to the New York Giants, ending its playoffs hopes.
Bryant was expected to come out and support his former teammate, but to say he has a lesson to learn is a bit out of line. If Bryant hadn’t been suspended for the majority of his junior year at Oklahoma State, hadn’t been sued four times for unpaid debt in the past two years and had become a leader on and off the field for Dallas then yes, he would be justified in saying these things.
Of course, Bryant’s comments were not haughty; he’s admitted that he’s done a poor job of transitioning from a rough ending of his college career to the NFL. However, it’s not really his place to say anything more than “Justin’s a good guy and he won’t do it again.”
On another positive note, Bryant is trying his hardest to become a leader on the field for Dallas this off-season. His exceptional effort at the Cowboys’ OTAs the past two weeks hasn’t gone unnoticed and he’s determined to make sure that remains the case.
“I feel like I’m leading by doing my work, playing hard, trying to take every rep, doing every rep at full speed 100 percent of the time,” he said. “I just feel like I’m stepping up, doing my job, being accountable, making sure that I’m doing the right things so the people that are under me can do the right things. So you can say, somewhat of a leader.”
Bryant can become a leader by being consistent on the field. Last season he put up excellent numbers in the first half of games, and especially the first quarter, but seemed to disappear late in games. While he’s becoming “somewhat of a leader” with his words and advice for a troubled former teammate, it remains to be seen whether he can duplicate that attitude on the field for an entire season.