Maybe it was too good to be true. The off-season had been a positive one for Dez Bryant. We heard him talk about being in better shape and the benefits of being in an off-season program that allowed him to improve his game. This wasn’t just coming from Dez Bryant either, we were hearing about his improvements from position coach Jimmy Robinson too.
According to the Star Telegram, Robinson said “He’s doing great. Having a good off-season.” Working really hard and getting better out there every day. Again, that’s got to carry over to the next phase, to the OTAs and training camp and then regular season, game day.”
Today it all came crashing down. Bryant turned himself into local authorities on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence stemming from an incident on Saturday in DeSoto, Texas. The reports are that Bryant assaulted a female family member.
None of us know the real story about what happened and no one should make a judgement without knowing all the facts but it the incident isn’t good. Dez Bryant has had trouble with the law before, including getting escorted out of a mall for wearing his pants too low and for an incident at a party in Miami earlier this year. However, this is the first time Bryant has ever been arrested.
I’m not going to pass judgement on Dez Bryant as a person but trouble does seem to find him. Football wise, this is the last thing the Cowboys need before training camp opens in less than two weeks. The Dallas Cowboys had been doing all the right things this off-season; it was all about putting in the work to becoming a better team. It was about staying out of the limelight, being quiet and working hard, just the way Jason Garrett wanted it. Dez Bryant has ruined a great off-season for the Cowboys.
Am I overstating things, perhaps. Think about this, Jason Garrett has spent all off-season preaching ”going about things in the right way” and the Cowboys have been buying in. Except one outsider, Dez Bryant. Garrett has been working hard to replace the sense of entitlement on the Cowboys and fill the roster with high quality players who are willing to earn whatever they get. Simply put, he has been building a team. What part of Bryant’s arrest meshes with what the head coach is about?
This is an opportunity for Jason Garrett to put another stamp on this franchise with the way he handles Bryant’s latest issue. I don’t know what Garrett will do but I know this, he must do something to show that one player cannot take his team down. Garrett must be a leader for the Cowboys and hold Dez Bryant accountable. If Garrett doesn’t discipline Bryant it means all his talk this off-season will be just that, talk. We’ve heard the Dallas Cowboys don’t have any leaders, well here’s a golden opportunity for Jason Garrett to lead by example.
Not only has Dez Bryant has hurt his team with his actions but we know from experience that the league will likely get involved as well. Commissioner Roger Goodell is going to have his say and that is never a good thing for a player. The Cowboys are already short at the wide receiver position and a suspension for any amount of games would be a huge loss to the Cowboys offense.
The Dallas Cowboys organization should be getting ready for the upcoming season, not answering questions about Dez Bryant’s arrest. This off-season it seemed like the circus had left Dallas, but Bryant just made sure it stays in town a little longer.
Training camp can’t get here soon enough.