There hasn’t been this much buzz and mystery surrounding a DFW video since Abraham Zapruder turned his camera toward a president from the grassy knoll.
Is there a Dez Bryant incriminating video? And, if so, what does it show him doing?
Everyone from Mike Florio to Terez Owens to a blogger known as “Incarcerated Bob” claims to know snippets, but for now we’re mostly left with rampant speculation.
It’s either the tip of the iceberg to a bombshell video that will short-circuit the Cowboys’ contract talks with the star receiver and potentially be devastating to his NFL career. Or it’s just another suburban legend saturated with hype and fiction but ultimately hollow of fact and impact, like Bigfoot, the arrival of those killer bees from Mexico, or JFK’s second shooter.
Let me start by being very clear: I have not seen the video. Therefore, I’m not 100-percent certain that it exists. But multiple people that I trust are confident that there is a video, and that it is incriminating of Bryant.
There are different, even conflicting, versions of a time frame and even about what may be on the tape if it exists. A phrase I heard more than once: “… domestic dispute with a woman ….”
Three words that seem to be consistent: “Walmart surveillance video.”
Right now we only have pieces which one day may form a puzzle. There is, as of now, no definitive Dez video story because there is no evidence such a tape exists.
Here’s how it started:
Florio, the founder of ProFootballTalk.com, was a guest on 105.3 The Fan last week and was asked about the possibility of a video. His response was, well, shocking.
“It’s one of the best-kept secrets in the media,” Florio told hosts Shan Shariff and R.J. Choppy. “A story that all of the major insiders know about, known about it for months, involving a video tape. And the Cowboys are aware of it. Because of that and possible other reasons the Cowboys have been very reluctant to commit major money to him. I don't know that the video does exist – it relates to off-field concerns – that’s just the chatter. That there's video, and the Cowboys are afraid it will come out and have a Ray Rice-like type of an impact.”
Florio is obviously a credible voice with a trustworthy, news-breaking website. In the wake of his revelation, Bryant went on the offensive. Seemingly getting out of front of trouble or nipping a rumor in the bud, he last Friday Tweeted:
Just quit with the b.s. …It’s clear as day what's going on… I might need to do a exclusive interview about my life these past 5 years since the world is destined to know… I use to let people take advantage of my life now that I’m no longer allowing that to happen it seems to be a problem… I’m not ashamed of none of my past incidents because that’s what made me who I am today
Since then the myth of the video has escalated more than our wintry weather. Sports blogger Terez Owens - who on Tuesday wrote that the tape is “five times worse than the Ray Rice video” – says it will be released by today. Then last night on a website called IBNSportsWrap.com, an item penned by “Incarcerated Bob” claims Bryant is part of a “shakedown” by two former associates who are blackmailing him and shopping the video to TMZ.
The Cowboys, for what it’s worth, told FoxSports.com that they are unaware of such a video. Jerry Jones told reporters at the Scouting Combine that “off-the-field issues are not a consideration in any situation with any player.”
After a Pro Bowl season in which he set a franchise single-season record for touchdown catches, Bryant is scheduled to become a free agent. The Cowboys thought they had a Cowboy-for-life, long-term contract reached with him in October, but the deal fell through. If an agreement isn’t in place by Monday, the team plans to use its franchise tag on the receiver, keeping him a Cowboy for one year at a salary of $13 million.
Bryant, of course, has had his share of off-field trouble, including a 2012 arrest on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence when he allegedly slapped his mother with a cap.
At this point we have more questions than answers concerning a possible incriminating video:
*If it’s truly “five times worse than Ray Rice,” how have legal authorities not gotten involved? Or have they?
*If “all the major insiders” know about it, why haven’t any of them – including Florio – written about it?
*And if it occurred at a Walmart, how have no witnesses – much less a tape – surfaced?
A call to the DeSoto Walmart Tuesday night directed me sternly to the company’s legal department in Arkansas.
I have a gut feeling there is indeed some sort of Dez Bryant video, but as of now I have no concrete facts to back it up.
Stay tuned …
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.