Bryant Strikes Deal to Dismiss Family Assault Charge

Bryant agrees to anger management after family dispute

Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant has agreed to a year of anger management counseling as part of a deal that could lead to the dismissal of a family violence charge over a dispute with his mother.

Attorney Royce West said Wednesday that Bryant was already attending anger management sessions, and he said the Dallas County district attorney's office would dismiss the misdemeanor charge if Bryant stays out of trouble for a year.

"From a personal standpoint, we believe, and I believe, that Dez Bryant does need counseling," District Attorney Craig Watkins told NBC 5. "He needs it so we won't see him again in this court system, and we believe that, as a result of the counseling, that he will be a better person."

Bryant was arrested in July in DeSoto after he allegedly hit his mother, Angela Bryant, in the face with a ball cap. A police affidavit says he also grabbed his mother by her T-shirt.

Bryant's mother later filed an affidavit asking prosecutors not to file charges.

West said the deal with prosecutors was not a plea agreement, and that the family always thought it could settle the matter.

"The family now has put all this behind them, they just want to move forward," West told NBC 5.

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West, who is also a Texas state senator, said in a statement that Bryant and his mother "understand the serious nature of family violence accusations."

"Dragging it out, having a trial, was not something the family wanted to do, and, needless to say, we believe having a conditional dismissal is probably the best of both worlds," West said.

Watkins said the counseling is aimed at making sure Bryant is never again in the court system.

"This is an opportunity for Dez Bryant," Watkins said. "He's only 23 years old, and I can understand him being 23, with all the pressure that you have to perform on the field, the fact that you have so many dollars in your pocket and a lot of folks are pulling at you, this is an opportunity for him to grow up, to mature and take advantage of everything that we're offering him -- not only the district attorney's office, but the Dallas Cowboys, to really be the citizen that I think he can be."

Cowboys spokesman Rich Dalrymple said coach Jason Garrett would likely address the Bryant situation Thursday. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the agreement didn't change the league's plan to review the case once it is resolved.  Aiello said Thursday there is no timetable for when that review would take place.

"I'm not concerned about the Cowboys," West said. "I'm concerned about Dez and his family and, the reality is, I don't believe that this will have any impact because Dez has not pled guilty to anything."

According to reports, the Cowboys agreed to provide Bryant a security team while restricting his off-field activities. The Cowboys haven't commented specifically on those limitations.

Bryant was projected as a top 10 draft pick but fell to the Cowboys at No. 24 in 2010 in part because of a troubled past. He missed almost all of his final season at Oklahoma State after the NCAA suspended him for lying about having dinner with Deion Sanders.

There were pre-draft rumors that Bryant skipped meetings and classes at Oklahoma State, and his pro day was marred by banter that he had forgotten the cleats he planned to wear for the workout.

The third-year receiver also ran up hundreds of thousands of dollars in bills on game tickets and jewelry, and he was sued by people who said they were creditors.

Last year, Bryant was kicked out of NorthPark Center for wearing sagging pants. In January, he was reportedly involved in a fight with rapper Lil Wayne at a Miami nightclub.

His production has been spotty as a pro. He has a pair of 100-yard games this year, but he followed one of those with a one-catch game against Atlanta. He has 45 catches for 590 yards and three touchdowns.

NBC 5's Randy McIlwain and Ellen Goldberg contributed to this report.


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