Ellis: Bryant Can Show He Means Well Through Cooperation

Time and again, when the topic of Dez Bryant's character came up, those of us who cover the Cowboys on a daily basis have explained that the receiver does not come off as a bad guy, just an immature one who needs time and help.

If, as reports say, he has agreed to a set of strict rules (a midnight curfew, keeping a bodyguard, not drinking alcohol, etc.) it is further proof of that. Since he arrived in 2010, Bryant has been described by people who don't know him as a problem child, but by those within the Cowboys organization as a "pleaser." They believe he wants to do the right thing, but can stray because of his sometimes unchecked emotion. The addition of some institutional controls would be meant to help him do what he and the team want him to do: Stay out of trouble.

The team has tried to let him sort things out for himself, along with the help of his representatives and his advisor, David Wells, plus the family members and friends who served as an alarm clock, chauffer and bodyguard. But in the wake of this summer's arrest for domestic violence, the team evidently decided Bryant needed more structure upon the return from training camp.

They've tried this before, of course, most infamously in 2008, with "Adam" Pacman Jones, and it didn't end well. Jones ambushed his team-appointed bodyguard in the bathroom of a Dallas club, and was suspended four games before eventually being released by the team. Even Pacman seems to have mellowed in the last couple years, but in 2008, he was not yet ready to comply with "society's rules," as Jones put it in reference to Bryant this summer.

Even at 23, Bryant is not as defiant as Pacman was. He's not a devious person. Every incident that has come up since he was drafted appears to arise from a temper problem that was never eliminated during his upbringing.

To curb that, and hopefully correct it going forward, the Cowboys apparently are enlisting themselves as parental supervision.  

The fact Bryant has accepted the help means there's hope for progress moving forward.

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