Jerry Jones acknowledged that the Cowboys’ have loosened the reins on star receiver Dez Bryant, who has been a no-show at the team’s voluntary workouts this past week.
Jones sounded like a proud parent talking about Bryant on Tuesday, seeing him grow from a talented, but questionable, prospect into a Pro Bowl-caliber receiver with minimal off-field issues.
Jones spoke at length about his relationship with Bryant, saying he and his personal assistant have spent more personal time dealing with Bryant’s affairs than any other player in his time as Cowboys’ owner.
Jones didn’t bring it up to complain, rather to show the time and effort that went into helping Bryant become the person and player he is today.
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“He’s the only player, the only player, that I’ve ever had that I was the signature with him on his check – to give you an idea of how close we are,” Jones said. “The whole point is that we feel good about where we are, feel good that I know him in terms of where his love is and where his heart is and where his work ethic is.”
That doesn’t mean Jones is ready to hand Bryant a long-term contract. For now, the Cowboys are content with having slapped the franchise tag on Bryant earlier this offseason and could do so again next offseason.
Instead, Jones is referring to Bryant’s growth and dropping the so-called ‘Dez Rules,’ which were put in place a few years ago to make sure Bryant didn’t run into trouble off the field. The rules included things such as a curfew, abstaining from alcohol, staying away from nightclubs and attending counseling twice a week.
It’s a rewarding feeling to Jones, who holds no ill will towards Bryant for severing ties with former business associates, including former adviser David Wells. It simply falls in line with Bryant taking more control of his endeavors, which began with his mid-season agent switch to Jay-Z’s Rock Nation.
As far as Bryant missing the workouts, Jones said: “I just don’t have an issue with where Dez is regarding workouts because I know where his heart is. … I think he’ll be available to really make a great contribution for us this coming year.”
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760