Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is one of those must-watch players on an NFL field, largely because you don't know what kind of ridiculous play he'll pull out of thin air. For the Cowboys, he's must-watch off the field, too, because Bryant has run into trouble when left to his own devices.
Two years ago, Bryant and the Cowboys established a set of "Dez Rules" to help Bryant get past a rough offseason. Those rules, according to ESPN, included the following:
• A midnight curfew.
• No alcohol.
• No strip clubs, and night clubs only with team approval and a security team in place.
• Twice-weekly counseling sessions.
• At least one member of a rotating security team must be with Bryant at all times, and will drive him to practices, games, and other team events.
On Tuesday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones indicated that the rules were still in effect. "He doesn't need to drop his guard," Jones said. "In some respect, none of us do."
Apparently Bryant doesn't quite see it that way. On Twitter, he went after Calvin Watkins, the ESPN writer who penned the piece. In a since-deleted tweet, Bryant wrote, "I lost all respect for you writing a bull[censored] story that is no longer true...don't bring your ass by my locker."
Bryant arrived in the NFL with what one scout termed "the worst background I'd ever seen." This past season, he drew heat for both his sideline inspirational raging and his decision to walk off the field with more than a minute left in a bitter loss to Green Bay. (Then again, he performed random acts of kindness, like buying everyone in line at a Wal-Mart a new PS4.)
Bryant has set himself up as one of a long line of love-me-or-hate-me wide receivers, players who screw up or make mistakes, then profess surprise and indignation when others criticize or don't trust them. Yes, the Dez Rules are childish, borderline offensive for a grown man ... but Bryant has it in his control to make them no longer necessary.