Bryant shows newfound maturity with speech

March 26, 2013

Dez Bryant was a surprise speaker at a rally to end violence against women on Saturday.

The Cowboys receiver, who was charged with allegedly hitting his mother last July, made a short speech during the event in front of Dallas' City Hall.

Afterward, he told reporters, "Here's all you need to know: I'm done with domestic abuse."

From all accounts, Bryant appears done with all unflattering off-field incidents. Bryant repeatedly made headlines in the past, for financial issues, run-ins with mall cops, etc., leading up to the incident with his mother last summer.

Since that time, the only noise from Bryant has come on the field. He reached an agreement last November with the Dallas County District Attorney's office. Bryant did not have to enter a plea to the family violence charge, a misdemeanor, in exchange for undergoing anger management counseling for a year.

Meanwhile, Bryant turned in his best season as a pro, by far, in 2012 with 92 catches for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Bryant's appearance at the "Men Against Abuse" rally is seen as another step in his maturation. It would have been easy for Bryant to avoid the rally and not make himself a potential target for ridicule.

"It shocked me, but he came and supported," said teammate Brandon Carr, who also attended the rally headlined by former Cowboys greats Roger Staubach and Emmitt Smith.

"It's a humbling experience to see your teammates come out and support you and they had the same issues going on in their lives," Carr told The Dallas Morning News. "For Dez to get up here in front of all these people and admit his mistakes, and to be with us in this rally and take a stand against something he was a part of, that speaks volumes."

Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire