- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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Even if the Dallas County district attorney’s office drops the charges, Dez Bryant will still have to deal with commissioner Roger Goodell.
Angela Bryant's decision to not continue to pursue a case against her son could prevent the Cowboys receiver from being prosecuted on the Class A misdemeanor family violence charge. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Bryant will avoid the NFL’s wrath.
Bryant and his mother have scheduled a news conference at attorney Royce West's office for 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Goodell has set the precedent of punishing a player who hadn’t been convicted of a crime. The NFL’s personal conduct policy clearly gives Goodell that power.
“While criminal activity is clearly outside the scope of permissible conduct, and persons who engage in criminal activity will be subject to discipline, the standard of conduct for persons employed in the NFL is considerably higher,” the policy states. “It is not enough simply to avoid being found guilty of a crime. Instead, as an employee of the NFL or a member club, you are held to a higher standard and expected to conduct yourself in a way that is responsible, promotes the values upon which the League is based, and is lawful.
“Persons who fail to live up to this standard of conduct are guilty of conduct detrimental and subject to discipline, even where the conduct itself does not result in the conviction of a crime.”
In other words, close criminal calls can and will be held against you as far as the commissioner is concerned.
That means Bryant could have to explain not just the incident that caused his mother to call 911 and accuse him of assault before backing off the charges days later, but the pattern of behavior that indicates he has issues with anger management. That includes the scene at NorthPark Center last summer that resulted in Bryant and some buddies being kicked out of the mall and the heated confrontation at a Miami Beach club that caused police to detain but not arrest Bryant this winter.
A plan to avoid such issues in the future, and maybe counseling, might be more important than Bryant’s explanations of what happened.