The Dallas Cowboys took a risk drafting Dez Bryant in 2010.
Bryant had the talent, and no one would argue against that fact. Bryant overcame some childhood adversity, however, and his college career ended prematurely after an unsanctioned and unapproved meeting with Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders.
Bryant met with several teams during the pre-draft process and addressed concerns about his maturity. However, not even Bryant could have predicted what the Miami Dolphins would have asked him in their meeting.
Dez Bryant was a controversial prospect in 2010
A highly-recruited high school receiver, Dez Bryant signed with the Oklahoma State Cowboys in 2007.
Bryant immediately stood out, catching 43 passes for 622 yards and six touchdowns. A year later, Bryant transitioned into an All-American wideout, totaling 87 receptions for 1,480 yards and 19 touchdowns. Bryant also returned two punts for touchdowns.
Bryant started his junior season off in a big way, hauling in 17 receptions for 323 yards and four touchdowns in three games. He also brought back a punt for a touchdown.
Bryant’s 2009 season ended after those three games, though, because he committed an NCAA violation in meeting with Deion Sanders.
Rather than return the next season, Bryant elected to declare early for the 2010 NFL draft.
Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland asked Bryant an ugly question
A significant part of the pre-draft process, especially in the NFL and the NBA, is the interview portion.
Teams go over everything from background checks to skillsets to the most random questions while meeting with prospective players.
Some of those random questions border on the insane. According to USA Today, Texas cornerback Kris Boyd said he was asked if he had both of his testicles during the 2019 NFL combine.
Austen Lane, a former Jaguars defensive end, said a scout asked him, “If you could kill someone and not get caught, would you?”
Another scout asked Lane if he found his mother attractive.
All of this is relevant because Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland similarly asked Dez Bryant about his mother in 2010. Instead of questioning Bryant’s views on his mother’s looks, however, Ireland asked the receiver if his mother was a prostitute.
According to ESPN, Ireland apologized to Bryant following the draft.
“My job is to find out as much information as possible about a player that I’m considering drafting. Sometimes that leads to asking in-depth questions. Having said that, I talked to Dez Bryant and told him I used poor judgment in one of the questions I asked him. I certainly meant no disrespect and apologized to him.”
Miami had the 12th overall pick, but traded down to No. 28 in a draft-day deal with the San Diego Chargers.
The Dallas Cowboys drafted Bryant with the 24th overall pick.
Bryant has avenged his family’s honor with an excellent NFL career
Dez Bryant lived up to expectations in his eight seasons with the Dallas Cowboys.
Bryant turned 531 receptions into 7,459 yards and 73 touchdowns across 113 games and 99 starts with the Cowboys from 2010-17. The dangerous wideout made three Pro Bowls and earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2014 when he recorded 88 catches, 1,320 yards, and an NFL-high 16 touchdowns.
Miami held Bryant to three catches for 35 yards in 2011, the only time he faced them when Ireland was the general manager. Dallas won the game, 20-19, on Thanksgiving Day.
Miami and Ireland mutually parted ways after the 2013 season. Ireland has served as the Saints’ assistant general manager and college scouting director since 2015.
Bryant joined the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad in October. He missed the 2018 season with an injury and didn’t play last year.