Former Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant has faced questions of character for some time now. His 2009 season with the Cowboys was cut short after he lied to an NCAA investigator about the relationship he had with former NFLer Deion Sanders. Then, he missed the combine. Then, he missed the Oklahoma State Pro Day. And after earning mixed reviews in his first pre-draft workout yesterday in his hometown of Lufkin, Texas, Bryant shot back at critics with a clear message: enough is enough.
"I'm not the type of person that will try to confront somebody but now I feel like it's gone too far. It's gone too far," Bryant said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I ain't never got in trouble with nobody. I never said anything. I don't say anything wrong to nobody. I'm friendly. This here is too far.
"What do this got to do with me playing football? Even if I did forget my cleats, what do that have to do with me playing football? I don't think it has anything to do with me playing football."
Bryant, who was raised in Lufkin by a young mother, has also dealt with questions of his background. Here again, the 2008 Biletnikoff finalist questions the relevance of such thinking.
"I don't look for trouble. I don't find trouble or none of that stuff. I'm not a troublemaker," Bryant said. "Just because I've experienced bad things, that don't make me no bad person. That don't make my mom a bad person. My mom overcame a lot of adversity just as well as I have.
"People change. I don't think people understand that. People change, and I thought my mama did that. And all this stuff that I've been reading, I just feel like it's foolish. It is foolish."
Bryant went so far as to compare the rampant criticism being thrown in his direction to that which faced a young Marshall product named Randy Moss in 1998, pointing out that, after being drafted 21st overall by Minnesota, Moss made a habit of sticking it to those teams who passed on him--including (and especially) your Dallas Cowboys.
"Any teams who don't draft me who think I have background problems or any of that, you're not going to draft me because of stuff that happened in my childhood? What about now? What's been going on with Dez now? Nothing bad's been going on with Dez. Nothing at all," Bryant said.
"Whoever passes up on me, it's over with. I feel like I'm going through the same situation Randy Moss did," he added. "That man had issues and teams were passing up on him, and when he got on that field, he killed them. He murdered them. Look at him today: One of the best players in the NFL."