Unlike last year, when Dez Bryant's spat with police at a Dallas mall came in the midst of the NFL's lockout, the Cowboys are able to contact their young wide receiver to get answers and/or extend help when things come up.
After his most recent off-the-field incident, when he was detained by police at a Miami nightclub last weekend following a reported altercation with a member of the entourage of rapper Lil Wayne, the Cowboys have already touched base with Bryant.
"I have not spoken to him since then," head coach Jason Garrett said. "People in our organization have."
The Cowboys have several front office staffers designated to help players stay out of trouble and develop in their lives off the field, including security personnel.
"We want to make sure all our players do things the right way, really 365 days out of the year," Garrett said. "We understand the nature of the position that we're all in, and we have to be careful and handle things the right way, but we certainly support him in everything he does."
Under the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, the team's structured offseason program does not begin until April 16. At that point, Bryant and other players would be reporting to Valley Ranch on a daily basis for workouts and on-field training. Until then, though, players can come and go as they please.
But unlike the 2011 offseason, the Cowboys are at least able to reach out to Bryant when these incidents occur, and try to find ways to keep them from happening in the future.
"This is certainly a much better situation for all of our players, that we can be in communication with our guys," Garrett said. "We pride ourselves on communicating with our players as coaches and with the structures that we have in place in our organization. We want our players to be away from us and to kind of get away from football and to get refreshed, but at the same time, we stay in touch with them. Our coaches do that, our other support staff does that, just to keep tabs on them and make sure everybody's doing OK."