Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is making sure that there isn’t any room for doubt about what he expects from wide receiver Dez Bryant going forward.
Jones has talked a lot about the thin string that Bryant is hanging from in the wake of his family violence arrest this offseason and he hammered the same point again on Sunday. Jones was asked about his harsh warnings for Bryant and after briefly joking about his threats to cut Bryant loose — “You know, just because I said it doesn’t make is so” — Jones went back to the well to make his point about Bryant’s status with the Cowboys at present.
“He’s screwed around here and got his benefit of the doubt collateral down to nothing,” Jones said, via Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas.com. “And he’s also very vulnerable. Now, you’ve got to act differently when you’re in those shoes. He’s got to gain a bunch of that back. He can do it, and he can do it right out on this football field. And I hope that he does.”
Bryant has been impressive on the field during training camp, McMahon references his “daily jaw-dropping displays of freakish athleticism” in the same piece as Jones’ quotes, and strong play is going to be the easiest way for Bryant to start banking some goodwill with the Cowboys. As Jones has admitted, great talent has overcome off-field indiscretions in the past in Dallas and elsewhere around the NFL.
Players who don’t turn that talent into great performances aren’t long for the league, regardless of the reason why they underperformed, so it is pretty clear what Bryant needs to do this season to stop the talk about his shaky footing in Dallas.