IRVING, Texas – Rappin’ Jerry Jones, whose rhyme-busting pizza commercial has become an instant YouTube classic, can dance, too.
That was clear when the Cowboys’ owner/general manager was grilled about the strict set of rules put in place for troubled, talented receiver Dez Bryant. Jones danced around the subject matter, going so far as to state that he wasn’t sure any new rules have been created.
“I’m not so sure where media has come up with detail of this nature,” Jones said Tuesday on KRLD-FM, referring to guidelines first reported by ESPNDallas.com that include Bryant having a midnight curfew, being forbidden from drinking alcohol or attending strip clubs, and having a security team that will take him to and from practices, games and team functions.
“Fundamentally, Dez does – and I’m convinced – want to do many things that give him the opportunity to get on track the way he needs to both on and off the field. I think any of this talk or any of these references to what he’s going to be doing or what he’s not going to be doing in general is one that says let’s conform to good behavior, the kind of behavior the commissioner expects, that society expects, that anybody expects if you’re going to get the opportunities you are. He does believe he has a great opportunity.
“We’re fully supportive of him, his family, his mother. We want to do anything in that direction that we can. As far as the specifics of rules, I think [there are] just rules that let him concentrate on what he’s doing on the field, let him do his work and not have the distractions of not doing it right off the field.”
Asked if the Cowboys created the rules, Jones firmly said, “No.” He declined to answer when asked if the rules were created by Bryant’s adviser David Wells, a former bail bondsman who has worked with several former Cowboys and was the head of Adam “Pacman” Jones’ four-man security team during the controversial cornerback’s lone season in Dallas.
“I’m not going to discuss any of the rules, because that implies that there are a certain set of rules,” Jones said. “I don’t know that that’s correct, either. So really, just by the nature of it, it’s not one that you would really discuss. We have rules of behavior in the NFL and we have rules of behavior with the Cowboys as well. So I’m not so sure there’s been any new rule created here.”
Asked about consequences if rules are broken, Jones spoke in general terms.
“I think it’s pretty clear,” Jones said. “We’ve got behavior rules in the NFL that have been made very clear by the commissioner’s office. Then I think it’s real clear that if you don’t abide by the rules of society what happens. All of those are answers that any adult deals with every day.”
There is no denying that Bryant, whose arrest on a misdemeanor family violence charge a couple of weeks before training camp was the most serious of several off-field missteps, is a unique case that necessitates much more guidance than the normal NFL player.
The Cowboys knew that when they drafted him, having done thorough research into his difficult upbringing. They decided Bryant’s immense potential was worth dealing with his problems.
Nothing has changed Jones’ mind so far.
“There have been absolutely no surprises for us with Dez,” Jones said, repeating a line he’s used several times over the last year.
Pressed on the matter, Jones got agitated and cut off the line of questioning. He was done dancing.