In November, I caught wind of a potential situation involving Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant. There were whispers of a video showing Bryant doing something he shouldn’t have been doing. I was told multiple members of the NFL media had been chasing the video, but that no one had been able to find it.
I’ve done some minimal legwork since November, checking with the Cowboys to see if they were aware of the video (they said they weren’t) and talking to some folks in the media who acknowledged that: (1) they’d heard about the video; and (2) they had no plans to address it absent hard proof that it exists. I decided to let it simmer pending further information.
With the window for applying the franchise tag open and free agency approaching and the Cowboys and Bryant unable to work out a long-term deal and many wondering whether the team’s unwillingness to commit significant guaranteed money flows from off-field concerns, the simmer was starting to build toward a boil. During an appearance last Friday with 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, hosts Shan Shariff and RJ Choppy told me they’d heard from two different people that the Cowboys have a specific concern about Bryant. And I blurted out something about the rumors regarding the video that may or may not exist.
I was careful to point out that it’s not known whether the video exists, explaining that reporters covering the NFL had been trying for months to find the video. Appearing Monday on ESPN 1000 in Chicago, ESPN’s Adam Schefter confirmed that.
Asked about the rumors of a Dez Bryant video, Schefter said (measuring his words very carefully) that he has heard about the video and that he knows what’s on it.
“I’ve been working on this since September,” Schefter said. “There’s a lot involved.”
Schefter also said he doesn’t know whether the video will come out.
“It’s taken up a lot of my time this season,” Schefter added, explaining that what he’s been working on isn’t ready and may never be.
Since Friday, it’s definitely taken up plenty of my time. I’ve spent lots of time on the phone trying to determine whether the video exists, and I’ve submitted a request under the Texas Public Information Act to the appropriate agency, with the goal of getting the video (if it exists) and any related documents (if they exist).
Primarily, the goal is to get a clear answer on this, one way or the other. If there’s a video, the Cowboys and the NFL need to know about it, and to act accordingly based on its contents. If there’s no video, then it’s better for Bryant if the situation comes to a head now. Otherwise, the rumor will linger — and it eventually will impact the offers that one or more teams are willing to extend to him.
I talked about the situation at the outset of Wednesday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio, and several other times throughout the program. My understanding is that the incident (if there was one) happened in 2011, and that the video (if there is one) may contain footage of someone other than Dez Bryant.
For Bryant’s part, he tweeted on Wednesday afternoon, “I need to get me a real raw uncut tv show or something … I can’t continue to get betrayed like this.” Bryant has since deleted the tweet.
On Friday, Bryant posted an even more cryptic message that contained no specific denial of the existence of a video, but that instead referred to people taking advantage of him and not being ashamed of any past incidents.