All players should be concerned about the Rules of 88, given that any of them could be the next player asked to adhere to various standards of off-duty behavior, including forking over plenty of cash for a 24-hour security detail.
To date, the NFLPA has yet to take a position on whether the Cowboys may impose such rules on Bryant or any other player, even if the player agrees.
Perhaps in advance of the possibility that the NFLPA will cry foul, the Cowboys apparently are trying to subtly get the word out that the rules were put in place by Bryant’s camp.
That’s what we took away from a Monday report by Mike Fisher of 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, who says that the rules were the idea of “Bryant’s own people.” Fisher also points to the fact that Bryant will be footing the bill for his babysitters as proof that the rules weren’t mandated by the Cowboys.
We don’t see the logic. Of course the Cowboys aren’t paying for the full-time security detail; as we explained Monday, that would have created salary-cap issues. So the Cowboys’ directive apparently included a requirement that Bryant pick up the tab — especially if he hopes to ever get a long-term deal in Dallas.
Besides, why wouldn’t the Cowboys come out and say that Dez did this on his own? They haven’t, which strongly implies he didn’t.
“We want to support our players, we want to support Dez and we want to support his family, and the same time hold him accountable to what he needs to do,” coach Jason Garrett said Monday, via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Given the obvious sensitivities involved, Garrett and/or owner Jerry Jones and/or others in the organization would be shouting on the record that they had nothing to do with these rules, and that the entire list was the product exclusively of Bryant and the folks advising him. Unless and until the Cowboys say that clearly and unequivocally, this thing carries more of Jerry Jones fingerprints than any of the three Lombardi Trophies the Cowboys have won since Jones bought the team.