If he were coaching the Cowboys today, Hall of Famer John Madden said he would have reeled in wide receiver Dez Bryant before his emotional early exit last week.
But he also knows because the way Bryant has been handled up to this point, that particular cow(boy) is out of the barn.
“There’s no excuse for it,” Madden told Rich Gannon and Adam Schein on SiriusXM NFL Radio (via the Dallas Morning News). “Because he’s such a good player, we’re all going to make excuses for him. What he did was wrong.”
Asked what he would have told Bryant, Madden began with “Get your butt back here.”
“There are some things that you let go, and then when things go poorly, you can’t pull them back,” Madden said. “Dez Bryant has been in and out of the doghouse and I don’t know if they ever got him straight. They were a little lax on him when he first came in as a rookie. Maybe they let him do things they shouldn’t have, things that they have to live with now.”
The coddling of Bryant early on can certainly create the sense that there’s a different set of rules for him. And some of the behavior he’s displayed makes it appear he very much believes that, and can explain it away by being “emotional,” as if others aren’t.