The Cowboys knew Dez Bryant has issues when they drafted him.
So now that those issues have surfaced again, with his arrest on charges of assaulting his mother, the Cowboys have to be committed to working with him.
“I do know one thing: He is certainly different as far as his maturity level and what it takes to play in the National Football League than he was when he got here,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in June, via Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas.com.
The day Jones said that, it was mentioned to him that Bryant was in the middle of a long stretch of good behavior.
“As soon as you note that, the next morning you’ve got one,” Jones said, before adding he was talking about any player, not just Bryant.
This week’s arrest was Bryant’s first, but there were sufficient issues known before he was drafted to scare enough teams off him. And even in his mother’s 911 call, Angela Bryant suggested this wasn’t their first disagreement.
The 23-year-old wideout has limitless potential on the field, and if the Cowboys could contain him there, they’d be satisfied. But his situation illustrates the fine line teams have to walk when dealing with character issues, and how to strike the balance between talent and how much trouble they’re willing to put up with.