Aug 262012

The Dallas Cowboys took a chance on Dez Bryant in the 1st round, 24th overall, in 2010. Bryant was a top-10 talent who fell for character reasons and the results have been mixed. Bryant has had several off the field controversies, including one arrest for domestic abuse of his mother (that was eventually dropped), and on the field, he hasn’t always lived up to his physical gifts as he’s struggled to learn the playbook, run routes, and stay in shape. In spite of all that, Bryant caught 63 passes for 928 yards and 9 touchdowns last year, mostly on his athletic gifts. Heading into his 3rd season in the league, Bryant has had a good offseason on the field and looks poised for a breakout year. A receiver’s 3rd year in the league is often a breakout year.

The Cowboys are being extra cautious with Bryant after his arrest though and, according to ESPN Dallas, they have put him on a strict “secret” probation, though I guess it’s not really a secret anymore. Under the terms of this probation, Bryant has a midnight curfew which he needs team official approval to break, he cannot drink alcohol or attend strip clubs, he can only attend nightclubs if they are team approved and he has his security team with him, his rotating 3 man security team will go with him everywhere he goes in public (at least one at all times) and drive him to practice, games, and team functions, and he must attend twice weekly counseling sessions (and you thought your workplace rules were rough).

As rough as all that is, I applaud the Cowboys for being strict and disciplined with him. It’s a privilege, not a right, to play in the National Football League and a very high, prestigious, and much sought after privilege. If he doesn’t want to play in the NFL, he doesn’t have to, but from what it sounds like, playing in the NFL is worth all this trouble to him. They may be treating him like a child, but some of the things he’s done over the past few years (from stupid, to lazy, to illegal) have been childish. The Cowboys made a big investment in him and want to make sure it pays off. If the discipline works, Bryant could easily become a top-5 receiver in the NFL.

If you’re interested in doing a fantasy football league with me, here’s the link (no draft date set yet, currently standard, with the option to become PPR with group vote).

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