According to a story by Marc Sessler at NFL.com (which you can read here), there are rumors that Dallas Cowboy wide receiver Dez Bryant has been missing treatments and skipping out on team meetings. In the article, NFL Analyst Warren Sapp thinks it time for someone on the team to reel Bryant in.
“He thinks it’s OK,” Sapp said. “Whatever the head of the unit is, whether it’s Miles Austin, (Jason) Witten, (Tony) Romo. Somebody’s got to pull it. Somebody’s got to pull the yoke in his mouth and say, ‘Hey son, this isn’t how we do it.'”
These rumors come on the heels of a radio interview conducted by Bryant’s former Head Coach at Oklahoma State, Mike Gundy. In the interview, which he did with Ian Fitzsimmons on KESN-FM Tuesday, Coach Gundy gave some insights into Bryant’s personality and acknowledged his lack of maturity.
People really don’t know Dez. He’s a kid at heart. The best example for Dez is when we asked him to do something here outside of football, he did everything we asked him to do. There were times when he would oversleep and he may be late to a class, but it wasn’t in a detrimental way. That was just kind of Dez’s personality. … But if we ever said, “Dez, we need you to do something for our football team. Dez, we need you to do something for these kids out in the community. We need you to sign these posters,” or “They’re here and they want to shake your hand,” he would stay on the field with them, he would play touch football with them, he did everything anybody ever asked. And that’s the one side people don’t know about Dez. And Dez has some issues that he needs to clean up, but as I’ve watched him over the last six months, I think he’s done considerably better. He is a good person at heart. He just has a little bit of maturing to do and little bit of growing up, but he didn’t have the background that some of us did, so he’s learning a little later in life compared to what some of us may have learned in our teenage or early adult years.
Coach Gundy went on to give his opinion on what Bryant’s biggest issue is:
He just has to stay focused. And the thing I worry about most with Dez is there’s so much money at that level and they have so many people pulling him in different directions. If he just stays focused on what he does best,which is being a good team football player, performing on the field and not getting distracted by other issues, he’ll do really well. And I know that he’s already showing signs of maturing in those areas.
Gundy finished the interview answering the question whether he thought Dallas Cowboys’ Head Coach Jason Garrett could trust the talented young wideout:
Yes, you can trust him, no question. If you ask him to do something, and you look him in the eye and say, “Dez, I need this done,” he’ll get it done.
It appears Bryant’s antics are purely innocent and really nothing to fuss over. If he practices sometime this week and plays on Monday night against the rival Washington Redskins, this is instantly a none issue. I think we all believe that Dez wants to play and wants to win. Does he have Michael Irvin’s work ethic? Nope. But he also doesn’t party like Mike did back in the day either. Dez seems like a nice kid. Emphasis on “kid”. And I’m sure Tony or Miles will get him in line if it gets out of hand. Remember, wisdom comes with time. Let’s just hope that his talent doesn’t run out before his wisdom gets here. Until then, let’s look back at what this immature phenom has done so far: