IRVING, Texas — For the first time since Dez Bryant’s arrest on July 16, Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett addressed the situation with media members.
Garrett, who said he has spoken with Bryant “a number of times since the incident last week,” stated that talk of punishing the wide receiver would be “premature.”
“First and foremost, we support Dez Bryant’s family. We support Dez. We support his mom,” Garrett said during a five-and-half-minute press conference Wednesday. “We want to help them in any way that we can. We have the resources to do that. He needs to feel the support. She needs to feel the support from us, the Dallas Cowboys organization, the coaches, the players, the staff.
“We’re a close-knit football team. We’re a team that wants to support people on our team, wants to support our family. Dez is part of our family. And we’re going to help him in any way that we can.”
Bryant was arrested on a misdemeanor family violence charge for allegedly assaulting his mother at her home in DeSoto, Texas. Bryant and his mother, Angela, released a statement Tuesday that was read by attorney Royce West. The statement revealed that Angela does not want charges filed against her son and that the two believe their issues can be worked out through counseling.
Asked if he supported counseling for Bryant, Garrett responded, “absolutely.”
“We believe we have as good of a players’ assistance program in all of professional sports,” he added. “We believe it’s really, really important to help our players in every way that we can. We’re well-staffed in that area. We believe in counseling for people who need it.
“We try to do that for all of our players. Dez will be a part of that and we just want to help him. We have great resources.”
Bryant hasn’t made many public comments since the alleged incident but he will have several opportunities starting Monday when the Cowboys report for training camp in Oxnard, Calif.
Will he be able to block out the distraction and focus on football?
“I think a lot of people who are in our business understand the importance of mental toughness and focus and you have to do that,” Garrett said. “Players and coaches in the NFL are people. When we have issues that come up in our lives we have to be able to handle them and still be a pro in handling the task at hand.
“We expect Dez to be on the plane going out to Oxnard on Saturday with the rest of our football team.”