Well here it is the end of July which only means one thing, the start of training camp in the NFL. With the opening of camps, there of course are always stories that happen to grab the National spotlight which you come to expect: A fight that breaks out, a coach fines a player, or even someone getting injured. But what you don’t expect to hear is a rookie making himself bigger than the traditions set before him or outright disrespecting the veterans, which is exactly what Cowboys rookie Dez Bryant has done.
Bryant was drafted by Dallas Cowboys out of Oklahoma State with the 24th pick and was a guy that some thought would possibly fall out of the first round because of his character issues. Sure, he has tremendous upside. He is a big, talented pass catcher with freakish hands and great athleticism. But this is the same kid that failed to fully disclose his interaction with Deion Sanders, which had him ruled ineligible for the 2009 season.
Then the Cowboys opened up training camp on Saturday and through the first two days Bryant seemed to fit right in. However, he quickly did something that turned many heads which was refuse to participate in an NFL rite of passage, of carrying shoulder pads of the veterans around him.
Now to some, this may sound stupid. This may sound like childish games and you feel that a player shouldn’t have to do this as the player is there to help win football games and a Championship. And if you feel that way, great! I don’t. I feel in any sport or activity one performs in, there is a code of “initiation” you must go through to be a part of the team. It’s a tradition set forth from those that came long before you, and will continue on long after you’re gone.
Now don’t get me wrong, if you’re being asked to do something that will harm you, your family or the team, then of course I wouldn’t expect anyone to participate. But carrying shoulder pads? Come on Dez! It’s time to grow up and be a man! You’re no longer in college and have entered a “man’s world”. Many rookies are expected not only to carry the shoulder pads but buy lunch or dinner for the team. As a matter of fact, former Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells used to have rookies bring him water when he would give the team a break during practice.
I think that before Dez starts acting like a young T.O. or Randy Moss off the field, he better prove what he has on the field first. As of right now you’re nothing Dez. You’re just another draft pick trying to fit in. You’re fortunate to be drafted in the first round and I truly believe had you fallen to the 3rd, 4th or even 5th round, you know without a shadow of a doubt you’d be carrying shoulder pads to try and make the roster cut. So do us all a favor, shut your mouth and do what you’re told.