Dez Bryant quickly reached stardom during his tenure with the Dallas Cowboys. Bryant became one of the game’s best offensive talents while being a massive part of the team’s success. Despite his tremendous ability on the field, his actions off the field forced Dallas and Jerry Jones to set rules that included banning strip club visits.
Dez Bryant’s Cowboys career
Dez Bryant entered the NFL with plenty of hype and big shoes to fill after choosing to wear Michael Irvin’s No. 88 jersey.
There were plenty of bumps along the way, but Bryant’s talent showed through as he became one of the game’s best wide receivers. In a three-year stretch (2012-14), he recorded elite numbers with at least 88 catches, 1,200 receiving yards, and 12 touchdown receptions.
His production during that stretch earned him three Pro Bowl selections, a First-Team All-Pro nod (2014), and led the league in touchdowns catches once (16 in 2014). Bryant also moved his way into the Cowboys’ record books as the all-time leader with 73 receiving touchdowns.
Although Bryant produced like an elite talent, his off-the-field decisions led to Jerry Jones and the Cowboys to place restrictions on him.
Jerry Jones banned Dez Bryant from going to strip clubs
Beyond the tremendous production that Dez Bryant experienced during his tenure with the Cowboys, he also had some off-the-field issues.
Early on in Bryant’s career, he struggled with decision-making and maturity, leading to the team stepping in a few times. Among those issues was his nightlife choices as the Cowboys put some strict rules in place before the 2012 season for their star wide receivers.
According to then-ESPN reporter Calvin Watkins, Jerry Jones discussed the rules in March 2014 that was headlined by Bryant being unable to attend strip clubs. He could only go to a night club if approved by the team with a security team.
Among other things was a midnight curfew, which he needed to inform teams in advance if he was going to miss that. He also required attendance to counseling sessions twice a week while he had a rotating three-person security team that kept at least one bodyguard around him at all times.
Bryant also had the security team drive him to practices, games, and other team events. The star wideout had the full attention of the franchise to keep him out of trouble. During the prime of his career, Bryant was critical to the team’s success as an offensive centerpiece.
Meanwhile, Jerry Jones was no stranger to taking that route as he learned much from handling Hall of Famer Michael Irvin’s off-the-field issues. Irvin had many instances that Jones and the Cowboys had to work through to keep him in the fold.
Given that, it comes as no surprise to see how Jones swiftly handled Bryant off the field.
NFL career remains in his hands
Dez Bryant has taken a rough journey back to the NFL since being let go by Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys.
It didn’t help his case that he tore his Achilles tendon in November 2018. His hard work on the field earned him the chance to latch onto the Baltimore Ravens during this past regular season.
His role in the offense may still be minimal, with six catches on 11 targets for 47 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns in six games, but he has found a spot. Bryant is back in the playoffs with a chance to make an impact and help push the Ravens toward a deep playoff run that they were unable to do last year.
The 32-year-old’s NFL future remains in his hands as he has an opportunity to extend his playing days much further than the 2020 campaign.