Daryl “Moose” Johnston, the former Cowboys fullback and current TV commentator, says he believes there could be a wasted career ahead for Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant if Bryant doesn’t do a better job of committing himself to football.
“I don’t know what you do with Dez Bryant because when Deion Sanders gives up on you that speaks volumes to me,” Johnston said Friday, per the Dallas Morning News, echoing remarks made earlier in the week on the Rich Eisen Podcast. “Deion goes out of his way to help young guys and try to help them reach their potential in the NFL. And when Deion says, ‘I can’t work with you anymore,’ that’s the first time he has ever done that. This is a person with unique talent but with unique issues. And it would be a disappointment for Dez, number one, his family, the Cowboys, and their fans if he doesn’t live up to the potential he flashed as a rookie . He was by far the most talented guy on that field many times during last fall. And the sky’s the limit for that kid. And I just hope that at some point he understands and realizes that he shouldn’t waste two or three years because his head is not in the game.”
As a big, talented Cowboys receiver, Bryant has been compared to Michael Irvin, Johnston’s old teammate. But Johnston takes issue with that.
“Don’t ever to compare him to Michael Irvin because they are polar opposites,” Johnston said. “Michael was high-profile and he had the ‘playmaker’ nickname, but Michael was the hardest worker on that team. So, one of things you have to be careful with is that all of a sudden [because] he’s high-profile and he’s dynamic as a player you reach back and compare him to Michael. It couldn’t be further from reality. We had big personalities but we had guys who came to work and all they wanted to do was win football games. And hopefully that’s what Dez realizes – that this is not about finishing your rookie contract.”
Johnston said that if he were talking to Bryant, he’d tell him not to be satisfied with his status as a first-round draft pick and the contract that came with it.
“You got drafted in the first round last year,” Johnston said. “Your hard work has just begun. If you don’t bust your butt in the NFL, you won’t be there very long.”
Good advice. But as Johnston acknowledges, if Bryant wouldn’t listen to Prime Time, he probably won’t listen to Moose, either.