Dear Dez Bryant, There is something Calvin Johnson can do better…

Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant airs it out on the sideline (Photo:

Wide receiver Dez Bryant airs it out on the Cowboys’ sideline

Dear Dez Bryant,

You are a talented player. And football is a competitive game.

Fairly or unfairly, much was made of your comment about Calvin Johnson last week. You were asked what the Detroit Lions wide receiver does better than you. You responded, “I believe I can do whatever he can do.”

Fair enough.

Then came Sunday’s game between the Cowboys and Lions.

You had a few catches, one of them incredible. And a touchdown. Along with some huge temper tantrums on the Cowboys’ sideline.

And while you were making drama, Calvin Johnson was making plays.

By the end of the game, Calvin Johnson had one of the best days a receiver has ever had. In NFL history.

Maybe next time you play Calvin Johnson, you should do something else from the sideline…and watch him.

You just might learn something.

Because, there is one thing Calvin Johnson is better at. Keeping his mouth shut. And catching the ball (guess that’s two things).

So, if you can do whatever Calvin can do…

Then…just do it.


Dez Bryant is Grounded

Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Dez Bryant is grounded.  Indefinitely.  He is not allowed to drink alcohol or visit strip clubs.  He has a midnight curfew.  He has agreed to attend two counseling sessions per week and has a rotating three man security detail that is always present, transporting him to approved activities and keeping him from restricted ones.  This, according to

The restrictions are the result of a history of trouble for Desmond Demond Bryant, age 23, the latest of which was a July 16th alleged assault on his 37-year-old mother, Angela.  Yes, do the math…she was very young when she had him and has a history of trouble herself.  When Dez was eight years old, she served eighteen months in prison for dealing crack.  No, not a storybook childhood.  Angela Bryant did not press charges against her son.  The district attorney’s office in Dallas is still reviewing the case.

The so-called “Dez Rules” reportedly came about when Bryant himself reached out for help.  He put together a group of advisors, including two ministers and his attorney, a Texas state senator.  Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones, says he supports the player and his new guidelines, which at first he appeared to confirm by stating they were not the strictest rules placed on a player, but he now refuses to acknowledge.

“I’m not going to discuss any of the rules, because that implies that there are a certain set of rules. I don’t know that that’s correct, either.”

 Whatever, Jerry.

As the team’s top draft pick in 2010 (24th overall), Bryant is clearly a big investment for the Cowboys.  He is a talented player with a bright future…if he can keep himself out of trouble.  With a curfew, no drinking, and no strip clubs, that shouldn’t be too difficult.  Especially with his personal security team (who Bryant is paying out of his personal pocket).

At some point, the “Dez Rules” will either be lifted…when Bryant proves he can police himself, or become permanent…when he gets married.  We won’t talk about the third option…and neither will Jerry.


Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Unsportsmanlike conduct, unnecessary roughness, personal fouls galore…and the NFL season hasn’t even started!  Every week seems to bring a few new player arrests, some of them usual suspects (Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Dez Bryant), some of them unlikely offenders (Minnesota Vikings Running Back Adrian Peterson).  Judging by the off the field antics, you’d think the summer of 2012 is another lockout for NFL players.  No organized team activities, no NFL Code of Conduct, no disciplinary action, only…it’s not.

Reports earlier this week were that 28 players had been arrested since the Superbowl.  That was before we found out about Tennessee Titans Wide Receiver Kenny Britt’s DUI arrest and now Kansas City Chiefs Defensive Back Donald Washington, of which I learned as I was writing this.  I have lost track, but am confident that number is right around 30.  This week’s highlight reel includes: Seattle Seahawks Running Back Marshawn Lynch’s DUI, Denver Broncos Defensive End Elvis Dumervil’s aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, Dez Bryant’s domestic abuse (of his mother), St. Louis Rams Defensive End Robert Quinn on DUI, now Britt and Washington on the same charge.

Peterson’s arrest prompted Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton to weigh in, comparing players to soldiers returning home from battle (a statement he has since apologized for).  Dayton also told Minnesota Public Radio that with almost half the year off, “Idle time is the devil’s play.”  We haven’t heard much from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during all of this.  Though every time I hear about another arrest, I picture the scene from The Exorcist with his head turning all the way around.  And smoke coming out of his ears.

It is the NFL officials who are on lockout this summer and they seem to be on their best behavior.  Negotiations continue, but Goodell has hired replacement referees who are currently being trained in case they need them for the start of the season.  Even if they don’t, he could always use them next offseason!

The good news is…next week marks the start of training camp for many teams, meaning players will have far less free time on their hands.  But before that, comes another weekend.  And another opportunity for an infraction (or two, or three).  Off the field red flags the league has yet to respond to.  But can’t afford to ignore.