Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Lockout deprives Dez Bryant of supervision
By Tim MacMahon
One of the most important players on the Cowboys’ roster is considered a millionaire menace to a mall.
Need any more evidence that Dez Bryant is an emotionally confused junior high kid in an NFL superstar’s body?
Bryant and his enabler/adviser can spin the story however they want, and folks wearing blue-and-silver shades can believe it despite Dez’s recent history of lying. But the Dallas police report from Saturday’s sagging-gone-wrong incident makes it very clear that this wasn’t the first time the receiver has been a pain in the (fully covered) butt at this mall. It refers to a “pattern of behavior at NorthPark Center involving security/off-duty police being involved,” including cutting in line at a store, parking in a fire lane and being involved in a “major disturbance” with a woman at a restaurant.
Call this story overblown if you want, but this isn’t about Bryant’s sense of fashion. Bryant wasn’t booted from the mall because his boxer shorts were showing. Bryant -- and not his low-britches-wearing buddies -- was issued a criminal trespass warning because he loudly and continuously cussed out a fully uniformed off-duty police offer. He repeatedly dropped the F-bomb on a 30-year veteran cop, not some overeager security guard.
But it’s all “lol” for Dez, who dropped that cute teen slang into a late-night tweet vowing to return to the mall today to buy the new LeBrons. He’s basically challenging the mall and cops to enforce the 90-day ban that automatically comes with a criminal trespass warning by putting him in cuffs and hauling him off to jail.
It’s really just a reminder that Bryant, an unbelievably talented receiver who dropped into the Cowboys’ lap in the late first round due to major immaturity issues, needs his butt kicked on a regular basis.
That’s one of several reasons the NFL lockout could really stunt the development of Bryant, whose injury-riddled rookie season included flashes of brilliance despite a basic-at-best understanding of the playbook. More than perhaps any other player in the league, Bryant requires constant adult supervision, and that doesn’t mean enabler/adviser David Wells making excuses for him and cleaning up his messes.
Dez Bryant has shown he has the talent, but the lockout is keeping him from much-needed discipline.
That’s one reason why receivers coach Ray Sherman had to go. “Keepin’ It Real Thursdays” doesn't exactly enforce the discipline that Bryant needs to grow up in a man’s league. Neither does looking the other way when Bryant is a few minutes late for a meeting or praising his passion after he rants and raves on the sideline.
New receivers coach Jimmy Robinson has quite a challenge ahead of him. If he succeeds, the Cowboys might have the best receiver in the league in a few years. If he doesn’t, Bryant will wind up as a tragic case of unfulfilled potential.
It’s a shame that Robinson has to wait until the labor situation is resolved to get started with Bryant. The coach can’t say a word while his prized project looks and sounds like a fool with his pants on the ground.