Shutdown Corner

Dallas Cowboys put Dez Bryant on double-secret probation

Doug Farrar
Shutdown Corner

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The Dallas Cowboys have been dealing with receiver Dez Bryant's inconsistency on the field, and his missteps off it, since they selected him with the 24th overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft. Bryant has ridiculous athleticism and the most impressive catch radius this side of Calvin Johnson, but he's also dug himself quite a few holes with his behavior -- most notably, with an incident that took place on July 20, when he had Class A misdemeanor charges filed against him after his mother, Angela Bryant, called 911 and said that her son had assaulted her.

Three days later, Ms. Bryant decided that she did not want to press charges. The Dallas County district attorney's office is still reviewing the case.

The Cowboys were sufficiently unimpressed. Owner Jerry Jones waited until the end of July to talk with Bryant, because, as Jones said, he didn't want to come at it from the wrong place.

"One of the reasons I didn't [earlier], because I didn't want to talk to him emotionally. … I was disappointed," Jones said. "As a daddy, sometimes you're not supposed to spank when you're mad. I wanted to get the information but also wanted to get my mind right so that we could really have a good talk about this ... I don't have a feeling one way or another, but we have talked."

When the team broke camp in Oxnard, Calif., and returned to Dallas on Aug. 23, Bryant was presented with a series of conditions he must meet if he is to remain with the team. Judging from the specifics, we're guessing that Bryant has been lighting metropolitan Dallas up to an impressive degree.

Per ESPN Dallas, Bryant now has the following "restrictions":

• A midnight curfew. If he's going to miss curfew, team officials must know in advance;

• No drinking alcohol.

• He can't attend any strip clubs and can only attend nightclubs if they are approved by the team and he has a security team with him.

• He must attend counseling sessions twice a week.

• A rotating three-man security team will leave one man with Bryant at all times.

• Members of the security team will drive Bryant to practices, games and team functions.

Sounds reasonable for your average citizen, though some in a certain recreational strata might find the list excessively constrictive.

"Oh yeah, very much willing to do anything he can to help himself and help the team," Jones said of Bryant's apparent willingness to meet the terms. "He's very open-minded and cooperative. He's doing the right things by his teammates and everybody is counting on him."

Jones, who has dealt with some interesting character examples since he bought the team in 1989, was asked if this was the strictest "probation" ever handed to one of his players, a list that has included Michael Irvin, Tank Johnson and Adam "Pacman" Jones.

"No, this is not the strictest at all," Jones said.

In 27 games and 15 starts over two NFL seasons, Bryant has caught 108 passes for 1,489 yards and 15 touchdowns.

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