OXNARD, Calif. –Since he traded up in the 2010 draft to select Dez Bryant, Jerry Jones has kept an open dialogue with the receiver on issues both on the field and off.
For the time being, though, Jones doesn't have a lot to say to Bryant. The Cowboys owner and general manager said Sunday, during a press conference to open training camp, that he hadn't talked to Bryant since he turned himself into police on July 16, on charges of domestic violence against his mother.
Jones said he didn't have any specific reason not to talk to Bryant. Head coach Jason Garrett has had multiple conversations with the receiver.
"I'm in the process for our team of getting information, of looking at what the situation is," Jones said. "It isn't a deliberate thing. I just haven't sat down and talked with him. I want to have more information."
Last week, Garrett expressed the team's support for Bryant and his family, a sentiment Jones echoed Sunday. The owner confirmed that Bryant is taking part in counseling provided by the Cowboys. The receiver and his mother, Angela, have expressed their intention to work things out through family counseling.
Other than saying that questions of punishment from the team or the league were premature, Jones was open about Bryant, his difficult maturation and his thoughts on the news of his arrest.
"You didn't exactly have a silver spoon in your mouth, either, when you started out – I didn't either," Jones said, "but for a guy to have a tough road to hoe and still have challenges is not an excuse, but it's a fact. I don't have to spend any of your time the path (Bryant) has traveled. Having said that, he's made a lot of progress, but he's got a lot more to go, make no mistake about it.
"This is a very serious matter."
Jones said he believed the Cowboys are well-equipped to handle a situation like Bryant's thanks to a strong player development and support staff.
While both the owner and head coach have spoken of helping Bryant, Garrett explained that the club is aware of the fine line between supporting the receiver and enabling him. The team is in a somewhat precarious situation, with Bryant playing a key role in the hopes of a playoff berth this season.
Jones expressed optimism that Bryant could be in for a big year because of his on-field progress this offseason, noting that he really didn't believe the receiver had been in shape his first two years.
"There's no doubt that Dez Bryant is exceptionally talented," Jones said. "It certainly has served to give him the consideration that he's gotten, frankly, in life. And I think he, like us all, has got to realize where you're bread's buttered. And you've got to realize that is not there for you if you don't adhere to society's rules.
"We know, and he knows that we know, that controversy is not good for the Cowboys and it's not good for the league, and there are consequences. We'll deal with those as we move along here and get more information."