We interrupt our regularly scheduled series of “What Would Have Happened If…” to bring this highly opinionated article on Dez Bryant:
I never wanted Dez Bryant, and I was not satisfied with the pick.
Firstly, I wanted some secondary help with our 27th pick (which went to the Cheatriots in the Dez trade and they took Devin McCourty). Heck, taking Bryan Bulaga would have been a nice pickup given we had released Flozell Adams and Marc Colombo got owned by Ray “Who?” Edwards in the divisional round of the playoffs. I never thought we needed more wide receivers.
Secondly, I was afraid of his off-the-field antics. I was going to school in Oklahoma in 2009 whenever Dez was suspended for hanging out with Deion Sanders. I remember listening to the sports talk knuckleheads opining on Dez, and the whole Deion Sanders fiasco struck me as something I wouldn’t want out of a prospective Dallas Cowboy.
Let me talk about that for a moment. I don’t think a lot of you realize what a bad influence Deion Sanders actually is. I know some of you get caught up in the 1995 season and Kevin Smith’s Achilles heel and Primetime “deleting” his side of the field. He was a remarkable athlete. I’ll never take that away from him. But he’s culpable in the demise of the 1990′s Cowboys. He was an awful influence in the locker room, especially on the younger players. If you ever wondered why Mike Woicik left the Cowboys in the first place, check that out and you’ll see how contentious Deion Sanders can be. The guy was so divisive he even ousted the team chaplain.
For a kid like Dez Bryant who needed a strong father figure, Deion Sanders was the worst thing that could have ever happened to him. I knew that before Bryan Gilmore wrote an article in The Daily Oklahoman. Can you name one player in the NFL that isn’t some punk-thug after Deion Sanders’ “mentoring”? Probably Devin Hester, but that’s one case out of the others like Pacman Jones, DuhAngelo Hall, and Michael Vick. That’s why it’s simultaneously laughable and enraging that Deion Sanders announced he was turning his back on Dez Bryant last year. Cazzo, if you wouldn’t have meddled in his life, maybe Dez would have a scintilla more maturity than he has now because he kept your company.
So when I heard that Dez Bryant was involved with Deion Sanders, I didn’t want him. And I was mad when we drafted him.
But now, Dez Bryant is a Dallas Cowboy.
I have a rule when it comes to draft picks and signings with which I dissent. I’ll vocally criticize the move, but I’ll back them because now they area Dallas Cowboy. You know, I’m not one of these schmucks that is still bitter over a pick because he messed with my mock draft three years ago. I get over it and back the move.
How could you not root for Dez after his draft party anyway, where he was crying and thankful to play for his favorite team? He was thankful to be a Cowboy. After that, you kind of ignored his past and hoped it was just his unfavorable childhood and hanging out with Deion Sanders. You hoped it wasn’t Dez Bryant.
In the off-season leading up to 2011, we had the sagging pants at the mall. Then, we had the unpaid jewelry bills. These things indicated that Dez Bryant had a little more maturing to do. And at age 22, you hoped he would ultimately mature. However, this is the NFL. Your career could be over in your mid-thirties. You have to mature quick; you have to man-up now.
In that context, Dez Bryant will never mature, and this latest momma drama is more evidence supporting the claim. He will never grow up while he’s an NFL player, let alone a member of the Dallas Cowboys. You can believe hanging out with Bryan Gilmore may help, but the reality is Dez will never mature while with the Dallas Cowboys. Michael Irvin never did until well after his retirement. It took Hollywood Henderson throwing away his life for him to finally “mature,” and winning the lottery helped too. Nate Newton was busted with half his weight in marijuana back in 2001.
That’s the kind of Cowboy Dez Bryant will always be.
Now, you can be a moralizing middle-class maroon and line out a pathway for Dez to mature, or you can be a realist and accept Dez Bryant is going to have more screw-ups and embarrassing moments. You’re not watching the Dallas Cowboys for their morality, and that’s especially true if you’re still a fan after “The White House.” You’re watching the Dallas Cowboys for what they did inside the white lines, not for how much of the white line they snort up their nose or get arrested for possessing.
Do I wish Dez Bryant would mature? Do I wish Dez Bryant would stop being a perennial slap schmeckel in the Coach Avezzano drills of life? Yes — indubitably. But I’ve accepted the fact he won’t, and I don’t really care that he doesn’t. Even if he were to clean up his act and be an outstanding citizen, as is the case with Tony Romo, people would still whine that he wasn’t focusing on football for some reason or another. The same fans who are morally outraged over Dez Bryant are the same ones who kvetch about our upright players “not focusing on football” during the off-season. So, really, you can’t win either way. I’m sure people will nag Romo for still supporting Dez Bryant, along with the rest of his teammates.
This generation’s version of #88 is going to have a nice career on the football field. Outside of the game, don’t be surprised to see him again making a fool of himself. When that happens, just remember why you really care about Dez Bryant, stifle the insufferable, sanctimonious mock moral outrage, and remember stupid is as stupid Dez.