Much was made of the Dallas Cowboys’ decision to give Dez Bryant the jersey number 88 just hours after selecting him in the first round of the 2010 draft, if for no other reason than because that particular number comes with a history. Namely, “The Original 88” Drew Pearson and “The Playmaker” Michael Irvin wore it--Pearson is a Ring of Honor member; Irvin is a Hall of Famer.
Two years and change later, according to the former--the original--Bryant isn’t doing the best job of living up to that number’s legacy, though he readily concedes that the expectations for Bryant coming in were very, very high.
“He’s not living up to the expectations that were placed on him by wearing that number,” Pearson told the Midland Reporter-Chronicle, via the Dallas Morning News. “Drew Pearson took it to the Ring of Honor level and Michael Irvin took it way beyond that to the Hall of Fame level.
“When Michael and I had a chance to talk to Dez when he came in his rookie year we told him, ‘Don’t do what Drew Pearson did in it. Don’t do what Michael did in it. Do more than that.’ I know that’s a lot to live up to, but what else is there? You live up to those expectations and people will cherish you for the rest of your life.”
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