There has been no shortage of opinions when it comes to Dez Bryant and his recent arrest. They vary in their support, disdain or sympathy of the Dallas Cowboys wide receiver. With the NFL being as popular as it is, the arrest was going to be an extremely big deal. With the Cowboys being “America’s Team” and the most talked about franchise in the league, “big” becomes “biggest.” Heck everything’s bigger in Texas.
It seemed like every writer from every media outlet took their shot at wondering what the Cowboys should do with the troubled wide receiver, including me. We heard former Cowboys greats speak on Bryant. Michael Irvin said “his heart bleeds” when he hears the 9-1-1 tape.
From Tim McMahon of ESPN Dallas, Irvin went on, “To say this is totally out of the realm of possibility, I wouldn’t be totally honest,” Irvin said. “We know (with) Dez’s background and his upbringing that he may have the proclivity to make bad decisions. I had that proclivity. But to go this distance with it is a bit far.”
Also included in McMahon’s column we also heard from another #88 in Cowboys history, Drew Pearson, who thought perhaps Bryant maybe a player trying to respond to the pressures of being a local hero. “I saw him try to please everybody,” Pearson said. “You just couldn’t do it. Nobody can do it. … The worst thing for an athlete is to play in their hometown. Now you’ve got double the amount of family that has access to you. And they say success is relative. The more success, the more relatives. You feel obligated to take care of them, to be around them.”
There are valid points here. Dez Bryant had a terrible upbringing, his mother, Angela Bryant, was a teenager when she had Dez and was addicting to drugs. She served an 18-month prison sentence for dealing drugs when Bryant was a teenager and because Bryant’s father wasn’t around, Dez bounced around living from home to home. He never had any family structure.
None of this excuses Bryant from putting his hands on any woman, never mind his mother. Again though, we don’t know all the facts and need to find out exactly what happened before we make any judgements.
Others who we have heard from on the Dez Bryant situation include Emmitt Smith, who told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, “That’s a level of maturity that must take place,” Smith told Rapoport. “This is where people have to be patient with people like Dez or younger players. Everybody has to mature. Sometimes, some folks mature a lot quicker than others. I mean, that’s just something everybody has to be patient for. Just pray that the guy understands and gets it at some point. Because if he doesn’t, he’s definitely messing with his future and he’s messing with his ability to really connect with the fans.”
Daryl “Moose” Johnston has weighed in, so has Roger Staubach. Hall of Fame writer Rich “Goose” Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News has called on the Cowboys to suspend Bryant the maximum allowed under the new CBA, four weeks, to get his attention.
NFC East blogger Dan Graziano thinks the Cowboys need to provide more “help” to Bryant. More help? You mean aside from the person they assigned to help Bryant be on time for meetings and appointments, more help than that? More help than having someone be in charge of Bryant’s personal finances? That, too, has been done. The Dallas Cowboys have one of the NFL’s finest programs in the NFL for player development, headed by Calvin Hill, how much more help can they give Bryant?
My point is there are too many people with an opinion on what should happen to make Bryant fulfill his enormous potential. There are only a few people who truly matter when it gets down to it, Hill, Jason Garrett and Jerry Jones. They will decide the best course of action, hopefully, with Bryant. But ultimately, the only person who can help Dez Bryant is Bryant himself. I’m no psychiatrist but if Dez is serious about getting better on and off the field, he’s got to help himself.
Everyone’s else opinion, including mine, just clouds the issue.