On the field, it appears a breakthrough is imminent for Dez Bryant. Jerry Jones wants a breakthrough off of it as well.
While much was made of Jerry's search for glory from the opening press conference of the 2012 Training Camp in Oxnard, CA, the Dallas Cowboys owner gave a bit of a surprising response when asked about the hottest topic around the Cowboys water cooler. When asked if he had spoken to wide receiver Dez Bryant about his recent arrest for alleged family violence Jones replied that he had not. When pressed on the issue for a reason it hadn't happened yet, Jones responded cryptically "I don't know why."
Of course, the local and national media had a field day with their interpretations of how exactly it could be that Jerry wouldn't know why. It seemed pretty obvious that Jerry was just doing a bad job of trying to keep the Bryant situation from sullying the excitement of the opening of camp. He had made it clear that there was still plenty of information that had to come out in regards to Dez's guilt or innocence in the situation. Regardless, said situation has affected the Cowboys.
On Tuesday, Jerry began making the media rounds and clarifying his stance on the situation. Yesterday, that clarification continued. Follow the jump for the juicy details of Jerry unplugged.
Jerry made his regular appearance on 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday. Of course, they inquired for more clarification as to Jerry's reason for not talking to Dez. This time, there was nothing mysterious about Jones' stance.
"The reason I haven't talked to him is because I'm so pissed, that I'm not ready to talk to him. And when I get all my stuff together, I'll talk to him."
Of course, this statement circulated fast and furiously amongst those in Oxnard and Jones was asked about it during the press conference session in between the morning walkthrough and the day's practice. By then, Jones had apparently sat down and spoken to Bryant about the incident. He told the media that he was pissed and wanted to avoid Bryant until he calmed down; likening the situation to a parent that doesn't want to discipline a child while immediately enraged at the infraction. Jones called it a "good visit".
Today, however, Jones was back on the airwaves, this time with Mike Florio on the Dan Patrick Show and ProFootballTalk.com. Jerry could have possibly been continuing his idea of parenting, but he made it very clear: Bryant needs to improve his off the field behavior or risk no longer being a Dallas Cowboy.
"He's got to come on, step up and accept responsibility," Jones said. "I'm demanding that he work through it. He must do it or we can't count on him."
Florio followed up by asking if that meant the Cowboys would move on from Bryant and Jones said that it did. The Cowboys aren't going to dump their 2010 first-round pick at this point, but it's the first time we've heard anything like this come from the team since Bryant's arrest.
The line has been drawn in the sand for Bryant. Folks will always compare the actions of current Cowboys to the less-than-choirboy reputations of the early '90s teams but there is a glaring difference. Jones put up with those incidents for a winning team. Not to mention, the reports of those earlier actions mostly came out after the fact, and weren't discussed by millions of people real-time on Twitter and Facebook. The two situations, from a Cowboys bottom line view, aren't really comparable.
So do you take Jerry at his word? If there are future mishaps, does Dez risk being shown the door despite whatever he may accomplish on the field? Would Jerry be doing what is in the best interest of the Cowboys football team or the Cowboys brand, or both? Weigh in with your comments.