Dallas Media Not Letting Dez Bryant Issue Go

On Monday, Dallas Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips and wide receiver Roy Williams downplayed first-round wide receiver Dez Bryant's refusal to carry Williams' shoulder pads after Sunday morning's practice.

Cowboys tight end Jason Witten told the media that it would be handled internally, and while linebacker Keith Brooking defined the hazing portion of the locker room handbook, Witten's statements indicated that #88 had a blind date with a cold tub, or will have a jock full of Flexall 454 at some point this summer.

As the team prepares to move on from this issue, which they and everyone else will when more than one team is doing on-field work at training camp, the Dallas media is weighing in on it while it still can.

Todd Archer of the Dallas Morning News got the ball rolling: "It's a diva act. It's the result of too much enabling and entitlement. I wrote after the first mini-camp that the rookie was hearing too much praise from the coaches. The coaches can feel like that, but they didn't need to express it publicly all the time. Keep the kid humble, keep him focused and remind him constantly that he has not done a thing in the NFL yet."

Gerry Fraley of the DMN says Bryant is making a poor statement: "Rookie initiations happen in every sport. They range from the rookie reliever having to fill with snacks a backpack intended for young girls and wear it on the walk to the bullpen to hockey's shaving rituals. It's part of a bonding experience. By balking, Bryant is telling teammates that he is above it all. That is harmful to team dynamics."

Tom Cowslishaw of the DMN thinks Bryant blew an opportunity to squash this story: "But once his reluctance to go along with a fairly obscure part of Cowboys' tradition became public knowledge, Bryant chose to run from the story. He could have put it to rest by carrying Williams' pads Monday and joking about it....Why the Cowboys public relations department didn't make that happen is beyond me. But perhaps Bryant refused to go along with their suggestions as well."

It's not all negative towards Bryant.

Jennifer Floyd Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram thinks Bryant making some uncomfortable is a good thing: "This team needs Dez; his swagger, his cocky, his intense drive to show up and show up big, his burning passion to not just be great but do it right now, immediately. Because if this team is going to navigate the distance between good and great and from close to there, competition cannot just be a word Coach Wade uses at news conferences."

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