It seems like it was just yesterday that we were talking about Dez Bryant being kicked out of the mall, and also for turning himself into the police on account of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. At that point in Bryant's career, everyone, including Cowboys' Nation, was concerned about the future of the young superstar. It's amazing to think that this all happened before the 2012 season, and that we've seen him play two and a half full seasons since that point.
There were questions (by some) at that time, of whether or not Bryant would ever learn. Two and a half years later I think we've found our answer, regardless of how the media wants to spin it.
To sum it up simply: Dez Bryant is not a new man, but he's grown into the man that he was truly capable of being.
He has passion, emotion and, yes, he screams on the sidelines, sometimes at his teammates. Is he overly emotional sometimes? Probably. Aren't we all? If you loved something the way that Bryant loves football, and cared so much about helping to make your team and the people around you more successful, wouldn't you get a little fired up when you see things coming apart at the seams in a big game or huge moment?
There's no questioning Bryant's heart, nor can we question the fact that he's made some major mistakes in the past. The thing is, for the media to try to paint Bryant as a troublemaker still, would be (and is) simply be disrespectful. The reports that came out about the police coming to his house six times, for example, were quickly shot down and proven to essentially be a whole lot of nothing.
You can make someone look bad in various ways, and many professional athletes do their fair share of dumb things, just like we all do. With that being said, though, if you want to talk about Bryant going out to a club and partying to celebrate signing with Jay Z's Roc Nation, then feel free. You don't think NFL players go out and party every once in a while during their down time? Ask the king of killing the dance floor, Rob Gronkowski, about that one.
The point is simply this. You can spin it and make it look however you want, but Bryant has changed during his time with the Dallas Cowboys, and he fully understands the difference between right and wrong. The proof in that not only comes from Bryant staying out of trouble off the field, but also the many things that does for the community. His most recent generous act, came on Friday night.
Bryant held his first ThanXgiving Food Drive for Families in Need at the Oak Cliff YMCA on Friday and with the help of Albertson's he gave 1,500 turkeys out to deserving families.
Bryant spent time with fans and the families, and personally handed out the turkeys for the holiday as well. If you don't want to hear it from me, maybe hearing it from Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Tennell Atkins will do it, when speaking after Bryant helped kickoff the eighth annual Home for the Holidays Celebration:
Atkins thanked Bryant for his support. "You see the passion on the field," he said of the Cowboys receiver, "but you forget his passion off the field."
Not only has Bryant shown passion both on and off the field, but he's proving to be more focused on playing the game he loves and helping wherever he can in the local community. Respect the "X" and be prepared for the star wide receiver to earn the money that he absolutely deserves in his upcoming contract.