IRVING, Texas – Dez Bryant just wants to play football. He can now do that with a clearer mind.
Bryant said his legal situation is behind him after the receiver and his attorney, Royce West, reached an agreement to get his domestic violence charge conditionally dismissed Wednesday.
"I'm extremely excited we came to an agreement," Bryant said. "I'm just going to do what I need to do to continue to be a great teammate, a great person and a great player, as well."
The charges will be dropped if Bryant completes anger management counseling and stays out of trouble for a year.
Every time Bryant answered a question about the charge, he always ended with a comment about his focus on football. He thanked West for helping him figure out a solution to his legal trouble, but he seemed even happier that he could now center his attention solely on the game he loves.
"It bothered me a little bit," Bryant said, "but it's over now. I really feel comfortable and I'm ready to stay focused on football and keep my mind on that and nothing else."
The receiver has stayed out of trouble since getting arrested on July 16, two days after an altercation with his mother, Angela Bryant. He agreed early in the season to a list of rules set by the Cowboys organization, including a curfew and a security team accompanying him at night.
It's still unclear whether or not the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell will take action against Bryant, even if the charges are eventually dropped. But Bryant's not going to worry about that.
"I just feel better, man," Bryant said. "It's done and it's over with."
Bryant thanked his teammates and the Cowboys organization for their support through the legal process. Head coach Jason Garrett said the Cowboys supported Bryant and his family as much as possible and will continue to support him. Garrett didn't want to get into specifics with what the Cowboys were doing in providing counseling classes for Bryant, but he did say Bryant's been a part of the player development program and has "done a real good job with it."
"We talk to Dez and all of our players every day about being the right kind of guy and doing the right things," Garrett said. "In his case right now, that's what he's trying to do. We have a lot of programs in place for him and for other guys on our team to do the right things. He's very aware of that, and he works very hard to do that every day. We'll try to support him in those efforts."
Bryant admitted the charge had weighed on his mind throughout the season, and he now feels like he can play more freely.
The receiver is on pace for his first 1,000-yard season, and he's recorded at least 80 yards in three of his last five games. He said he's put in extra time this year and is asking more questions to be comfortable with the offense. He can tell he's played his best football in recent weeks, and the Eagles game cemented his beliefs.
"I feel like I'm back to Dez," Bryant said.
Bryant has felt the support of his teammates through the season, and now he's returning the favor. No longer serving as the primary punt returner, Bryant has been able to focus exclusively on his job as a receiver in recent weeks. Though he lost his punt returning job to Dwayne Harris, he seems genuinely happy for his teammate.
"My boy Dwayne, he put pressure on me," Bryant said. "Dwayne's doing a great job, a terrific job. He's doing a great job, and we all support that. Whenever my number's called, I'll be there backing him up and supporting him."