bill-swift - August 27, 2012
When the Dallas Cowboys drafted wide receiver Dez Bryant in the first round of the 2010 draft, they were well aware of what they were getting--an incredible talent with lots of off-field issues. Now it appears that the 'Boys are going to do what they can to help Bryant grow up and keep him from hurting himself and the team anymore than he already has.
After his much publicized domestic violence incident with his mother, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made it abundantly clear to any reporter listening that he was tired of the off-field issues that seem to surround Bryant. It appears that Jones has set some ground rules for Bryant and given him a little help controlling himself.
The rules are pretty simple. At no time is Bryant allowed to drink or go to a strip club (or any other club) unless he receives prior authorization from the team first. He'll also have a midnight curfew to honor (unless the team gives him the okay to be out later first). To help him stay in line, Bryant will also have his own caretaker in the form of round the clock security.
Bryant will also have to participate in counseling sessions twice a week.
The addition of a personal security guard is interesting considering how well that worked out last time the team got one for a troublesome player. Pacman Jones ended up fighting his minder when the team got one for him back in 2008. The incident led to another suspension for Jones and the end to his time with the Cowboys.
Whether the Cowboys are thinking of going that far should Bryant get in trouble again remains to be seen. So far there are no known consequences should Bryant break a rule. Even though they may help him it seems a little childish that the team even feels the need to set them for a professional football player and an adult.
Bryant does deserve a little credit for being willing to accept these rules as well as for reaching out to former Cowboys tight end Jay Novacek for a mentor. Hopefully he'll take everything seriously and make some positives out of a whole lot of negatives.