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Giving Pause


have himself in shape; was not ready to be timed in a 40. And after all that time. 

Red flag after red flag. 

Again stuff happens, but when it comes to investing millions of dollars and a first-round pick on such an individual, does all this other stuff cloud what evidently is an abundance of NFL-caliber talent? Character and accountability do mean something in the NFL, and that became a proven fact around The Ranch this past season after the Cowboys hosed out all the locker room rats over recent years. 

Plus, just for a moment, let's pull back the curtains on Bryant's brilliant Oklahoma State career that ended with 147 catches for 2,425 yards and 29 touchdowns in his 28-game college career. But I did notice this about his sophomore season when he finished with 87 catches for 1,480 yards and 19 touchdowns in 12 games (bowl game included): 47 percent of his catches that year, 42 percent of his yards and 33 percent of his touchdowns came in three games against none other than the University of Houston, Baylor and Iowa State. 

Just sayin', when the Cowboys play Houston it's the Texans not Cougars. 

So yeah, Bryant just might be the No. 1 receiver on a lot of team's draft boards, but guarantee you there is some sort of tag right now next to his name, be it red, yellow or otherwise to signal "caution." 

In his defense, Bryant was quoted just the other days as saying about his postponed workouts, "I just needed to be 100 percent for sure. The scouts haven't seen me in a long time. Whenever they see me, I want to be ready to go." 

Now the Cowboys definitely want to see him. They will be there at his workout. And just for insurance sake, the Cowboys are including Bryant among the maximum of 30 pre-draft visits at The Ranch over the next week or so, and not a "private" workout as was erroneously reported unless they can figure out how to decrease the distance between The Ranch and Lufkin to no more than the allowable 100 miles for Dallas Day. Otherwise, anything else would draw a serious NFL citation. 

Why even that? Well, as owner Jerry Jones said from the NFL meetings about the Cowboys, at No. 27 and likely out of Bryant's draftable range unless those already existing red capes continue to expand, "I just don't want to be sitting there on draft day with a great opportunity and not having really done what we ought to have been doing which is know everything about him or any other player of that quality." 

Who knows, funnier things have happened in the draft. See Randy Moss. See Brady Quinn. If something should unexpectedly fall in your lap, you damn well better know why, and not automatically think you are smarter than, say, the other 26 teams who passed. Some things, you know, really are too good to be true. 

So the Cowboys will do their due diligence on Bryant, even if it's most likely all for naught. Someone will take a chance on Bryant. Right? 

But if he starts to tumble, even he even falls within trade-up range, you better know what you're bargaining for. You had better know more than just his 40 time and all those catches at Oklahoma State. 

You better have factored in his upbringing, a New York Times article documenting how he was born to 15-year-old mother Angela, who had three kids by the age of 18, and who ended up spending 18 months in prison for selling cocaine to an undercover agent, all causing Bryant to grow up in three different homes. 

And you had better factor in what OSU receivers coach Gunter Brewer said of Bryant after pointing out how far he had come at Oklahoma State and that he's truly a good kid and that he had "hands like waffle irons": Drafting him means the team needs to "invest in guidance." 

That is the second time I've heard that about Bryant, that drafting him means there had better be club-willingness to hold his hand off the field and outside the training complex. 

Even NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock has gone on record saying this about Bryant: "He has to convince teams he has the work ethic and intelligence necessary to compete at the highest level when they hand him an awful lot of money." 

So if I'm Bryant, when they walk me in to Jones' office in the next week or so, I'm walking in like Jason

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