A former No. 88 evaluating a current No. 88 was a popular topic during Super Bowl week interviews in New Orleans.
Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin made the rounds Wednesday and critiquing Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant was asked of him on multiple occasions.
“Dallas is starting to bring some pieces together,” Irvin told WTEM-AM 980 in Washington D.C. “I’ve always thought Dallas won’t get to where they want to be until No. 88 starts coming around. And now he’s coming around.”
Irvin said he talks with Bryant “all the time” but added that it wasn’t always easy getting through to the former Oklahoma State standout. Irvin shared a story of an interaction he had with Bishop T.D. Jakes about giving Bryant advice.
Irvin told Jakes: “I’m sick of this 88, he’s so hard-headed.”
Jakes responded: “There was another 88 that was kind of hard-headed and didn’t listen. This is how God teaches you about your own ways.”
Irvin said he understood the message and became patient with Bryant, and according to Irvin, it seems to be paying off.
“We are all brothers in this so we want to see brothers (succeed), especially when you see a brother who came form where he came from,” Irvin said. “I always measure a man not in the end game and where you end up but in distance traveled. And if you came up and you’re right here we got to give him credit for distance traveled.”
Bryant had his best professional season in 2012. The third-year receiver caught 92 passes for a team-high 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns. Ten of those touchdowns and 879 of those yards came during the final eight games of the season.
While sitting on the NFL.com set, Irvin was given the chance to say if Bryant will live up to the hype of wearing the same number Irvin wore while helping the Cowboys win three Super Bowls in the 1990s.
“I think Dez is starting to live up to the hype,” Irvin said on NFL.com. “It’s still a long journey. … Is he there? Is he over the hump? No. But is it time that we can have a small celebration and tell him to get back on the track? Absolutely. He’s had a couple first downs, he’s doing well. But he still has a long road. He has to stay on that path.”