- Calvin Watkins, ESPN.com
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Dez Bryant is not going to change.
And everybody around him better deal with it.
The Cowboys wide receiver is still rambunctious and the best player on his team. Bryant is still going to yell and scream with his teammates. He's still going to yell and scream constructive criticism at himself and the offense.
He's still going to be encouraging.
If you don't like it, too bad.
Bryant was this way at Lufkin, Texas, where he grew up and played high school football. He was this way at Oklahoma State.
"Always. I've always done it," he said. "It's nothing new."
And he's not slowing down now entering his fifth season with the Cowboys.
Bryant is the veteran of a receiver group asked to push the passing game to new heights with play caller Scott Linehan.
Bryant will be in Linehan's ear or face, depending on the situation, to let him know what the deal is.
The Cowboys know if they expect to be anything worth talking about this fall, reaching the postseason is the way.
Bryant is the glue to this offense. Yes, tight end Jason Witten is an elite player at his position, but the offense relies on Bryant, who is entering a pivotal year of his career.
What to pay the man is a major question. Do you give him an average salary of $12 million? How about $14 million?
Bryant said he's not worried about his contract, and will monitor things from afar.
It seems there is always something with Bryant. He had the blowup in Detroit. There was the one-catch game in New Orleans. He walked off the field before the end of the Green Bay game.
When his 2013 season ended, though, Bryant was named to the Pro Bowl, finishing with 93 catches for 1,233 yards with 13 touchdowns and 67 plays that resulted in first downs.
Bryant says he's this misunderstood cat from Lufkin. He talks about his kids as if they were born yesterday and acts as if the Cowboys are the defending Super Bowl champs.
"I look at it as motivation not only for myself but for my teammates," Bryant said of his vocal nature. "I honestly feel like the more work I put in or anybody else puts in off of what I'm saying, it is becoming a progress. I'm going to continue to keep doing it. It's not for show. It's something that's coming straight from the heart."
Bryant is becoming more of a student of the game than ever before. Before he was just watching film, now he's going to analyze it more. He sees how defenses disguise coverages -- showing one thing and switching to something else at the last minute as way to trick Bryant and Romo.
"I'm understanding it better and better the more that I watch it," he said. "Not saying I haven't. It's just becoming a lot easier to OK, on this coverage this is what I'm going to do versus this coverage. It just makes things a little bit more easier the more that I get older and grow in this offense."
Bryant isn't a finished product. Who is at 25? But maybe Bryant's numbers at the end of 2014 will show everybody he's close to it.
"To be honest, I really don't think about it," Bryant said. "I love the game. I don't think about the numbers. Whatever happens, happens. All I know is I'm confident in the work that I put in. I know if I continue to keep working hard and get the other guys to work hard, it's always going to be a good result. It's always positive when it comes out at the end."
Dez Bryant is not going to change.And everybody around him better deal with it.The Cowboys wide receiver is still rambunctious and the best player on his team.