- Todd Archer, ESPN Staff Writer
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Speaking on the NFL Network on Tuesday, Irvin, the Cowboys’ Hall of Fame wide receiver, said he was disappointed to learn of Bryant’s arrest Monday for family violence. DeSoto Police allege Bryant grabbed his mother, Angela, by her t-shirt and hair and “hit her across the face with his ball cap” last Saturday.
“To say this is totally out of the realm of possibility, I wouldn’t be totally honest,” Irvin said. “We know (with) Dez’s background and his upbringing that he may have the proclivity to make bad decisions. I had that proclivity. But to go this distance with it is a bit far. I don’t even care to talk about what the Dallas Cowboys must be doing here. I need to know what some counsel is going to tell Dez or what guy he is talking to about this issue. You cannot -- and you heard (Bryant’s mother) say she is tired of this, she can’t take it. Obviously it’s so sad because it’s not the first time and there certainly is something going on there. If we care anything about him, the man -- forget the football -- we need to make sure somebody looks into this.”
Irvin, who had a number of off-field incidents in his career and incurred a five-game suspension to start the 1996 season, said his “heart bleeds,” after hearing the 911 call placed by Angela Bryant.
“This is uncharted waters. I like to speak out of my spirit on a lot of things, both the highs and the lows, the peaks and the valleys I’ve experienced,” Irvin said. “But this is out of the world for me. I’ve never laid my hands on any woman, let alone talk about the No. 1 woman in any man’s life, which should be his mother. You have to only try to think about where the anger and all of that is for you to get to that point. That’s why the pressures or the stress of what you’re dealing with, whatever is going on, we can’t have that. I know he has to be saying the same things now.”
Irvin did not want to discuss whether he felt Bryant was worth the trouble for the Cowboys to keep. In his first two seasons, Bryant has 108 receptions for 1,489 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also returned two punts for touchdowns as a rookie.
“Those are all-world numbers for a guy in his first two years to come with 60-something catches last year in your second year, just about 900 yards and double-digit touchdowns (actually nine),” Irvin said. “That is off-the-chart numbers. And all of the other stuff has been absolutely (worth it) because that’s up to your debate whether someone sagging pants is really a national story or cultural difference, even though it may have shown a lacking in judgment. But here again, this issue is something new. You guys want to talk about football; I want to tell you about the man. I don’t care what the Dallas Cowboys think on this situation; I only want somebody to talk to Dez about figuring out how you get to the place where your mom is begging you to go home and not hit her. I don’t care about anything else. That’s serious stuff that we have to get to the bottom of.”