About a month ago, I wrote a post asking whether the talented, but troubled, Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant needed a babysitter after being involved in a domestic dispute with his mother. Speaking on the Doug Gottlieb show, ESPN analyst Tim Hasselbeck said:
“You need to have somebody with him at all times. So, if I’m the Dallas Cowboys, and they think he can be as talented and productive as a lot of people think he can be for them, you gotta have somebody babysit him.”
Jerry Jones has decided to do just that and more. Per ESPN Dallas’ Calvin Watkins, here are some of the rules that Bryant must abide by:
• A midnight curfew. If he’s going to miss curfew, team officials must know in advance;
• No drinking alcohol.
• He can’t attend any strip clubs and can only attend nightclubs if they are approved by the team and he has a security team with him.
• He must attend counseling sessions twice a week.
• A rotating three-man security team will leave one man with Bryant at all times.
• Members of the security team will drive Bryant to practices, games and team functions.
Damn! No strip clubs, alcohol, or fun after midnight? A full-time security detail? How’s Bryant supposed to get laid?
On PFT, Mike Florio wonders if these regulations comply with the CBA:
The practice of placing individual restrictions on a player’s movements and activities away from the field sets a dangerous precedent, the kind of precedent that the NFLPA may not want to set. (We’ve contacted the union for its position on what we’ll call until we come up with something better the Rules of 88.)
When Jerry Jones tried something similar with Pacman Jones in 2008, Jones got in a fight with one of his
babysitters security guards , drawing a team suspension.
It will be interesting to see the extent to which these measures impact Bryant’s football performance. As I wrote about Rob Gronkowski, trying to implement an “off” switch might spill over into Bryant’s output on the field.
For his sake, hopefully Dez Bryant internalizes this situation and learns from it. Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson, who have been cut this offseason, might still have jobs if they had behaved better in their careers. Bryant’s on-field upside is enough to justify keeping him now but as soon as he loses a step he becomes expendable.
Bryant is only 23 years old and he is definitely still salvageable; he has the innate talent to be one of the best receivers in NFL history. Even though he’s a Dallas Cowboy, I’m hoping we get the chance to see that happen.