IRVING, Texas – One of the dozens of reporters encircling Dez Bryant's locker Tuesday afternoon joked that the fourth-year wideout didn't want to jinx his uneventful offseason.
Bryant laughed, but he disagreed with the assessment. After a startlingly large number of high-profile incidents in the early going of his career, Bryant said it's not luck that's keeping him out of the headlines, it's just common sense.
"It's not even a jinx. I don't even pay attention to having a quiet offseason – that's not my focus point. It's all about doing the right thing," Bryant said. "Of course you're supposed to stay out of trouble, but, you know, do what you're supposed to do. That's not the headline: 'Dez Bryant Staying Out of Trouble.' I'm doing what everybody else is doing, and that's doing the right things."
That might seem like it's easier said than done after the first tumultuous years of Bryant's stint in Dallas, but it seems to be working. Other than the news generated over his January surgery for a finger injury, Bryant has been content to let other Cowboys hog the spotlight this offseason. The result has been a productive spring, which Bryant hopes to use as a springboard to another big season in 2013.
"If you don't have to focus on things like that, you have no choice but to get better – especially when you're doing something you love," he said. "So it's really not an issue. I'm doing what I love, hanging around these new guys, getting to know them better each and every day, and trying to help build something here." [embedded_ad]
Bryant said part of that maturation process has come from acknowledging and improving on past mistakes. At age 24, he said he's gotten a handle on taking charge of situations that warrant it, both on the field and off – "Just opening up my mouth and not being afraid to say things and do what I feel is right."
It also can't hurt to get some advice from an international icon. Bryant spoke briefly about his recent signature with the Jordan Brand, and the advice he received from Michael Jordan in February to stay out of trouble. Through three months, the message seems to have gotten through.
"Whenever you represent a guy like Michael Jordan, you've got to be right. Everybody in this world – I don't know not one guy who don't admire him. And it's very rare that somebody gets to be a part of that group."