Drew Pearson: ‘Dez Has Grown Up A Lot’

The Dez Bryant saga has taken several twists and turns this week, but here’s what we know for sure:

In 2011, there was an incident at a Walmart parking lot in Lancaster, a suburb in Dallas. A witness to the incident claims that Bryant’s girlfriend was dragged by an unidentified man from a white Mercedes, which was registered to Bryant, to another car in the parking lot. Lancaster police, however, determined that no crime had been committed, no charges were filed, and everyone at the scene of the incident was freely allowed to leave.

The police report did not state whether or not Bryant was the man who dragged the woman.

That’s all we know. Everything else is conjecture and speculation.

And you can rest assured there’s a bunch of conjecturing and speculating going on in Dallas this week.

“It’s the hot story,” former Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson told Damon Amendolara, who was filling in as co-host of CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show on Friday. “That’s what everybody’s talking about. We got other things going on in other sports. The Rangers going to spring training, just extending Adrian Beltre, the Mavericks jockeying for playoff position, the fallout between (Rajon) Rondo and Rick Carlisle, the adding of (Amar’e) Stoudemire – all good stories that are happening around the Metroplex pro sports scene. But the story that has taken precedent without a doubt is the Dez Bryant story. Everybody’s talking, but it’s nothing but speculation at this point.”

Pearson said he has two problems with the incident.

“In 2011, we know Dez at that time was going through some tough times and making his adjustment going from college to becoming a professional athlete,” Pearson said. “We know he had some incidents on his track record, and they all happened around that time. The other thing that bothers me is Dez is responding to comments via Twitter. He just needs to shut it down, let the thing play itself out. If there is a video, let’s deal with it. If there isn’t a video, let’s continue to move on. But to respond and to react, I don’t think is in the best interests of Dez Bryant right now.”

But why does it matter that the incident occurred in 2011? Simply because Bryant has cleaned up his act since then and has earned a different level of trust and respect?

“Yeah, exactly,” Pearson said. “That’s the only reason. He’s grown up a lot. He has done things since then – and maybe incidents like that are the reason he had to do that or the Cowboys had to do what they had to do to make sure Dez doesn’t get into any further trouble. But he has done things. He’s a grown man, a professional athlete (with) kids of his own. But when he wants to go somewhere, somebody has to be with him. If he wants to go to certain clubs or restaurants, he’s got to let the Cowboys know. He’s done this for a number of years, and I think it’s helped him because he’s shown maturity as a man, as a person, as a professional athlete.”

Bryant still occasionally acts out on the field and the sideline, but Pearson said that “very enthusiastic” behavior doesn’t happen elsewhere.

“All of that nowadays happens between the lines out there on the football field,” he said. “None of that stuff is happening off the football field. He’s done what everybody’s asked him to do. So to dig this up and to bring this up, we’re kind of missing the point where this guy was and where he is now. He’s grown up quite a bit.”

Playing devil’s advocate, though, if Bryant committed wrongdoing in this incident, shouldn’t be held accountable for that? Especially in the post-Ray Rice world we live in?

“But if that was the case, that would have been brought out a long time ago,” Pearson said. “The police investigated that. They talked to the participants in that situation, and there was no arrests. There was no charges filed by anyone. And no one’s claiming (anything). That’s a big assumption to assume – and it’s easy to assume that, especially in today’s climate, coming off the Ray Rice situation. That’s what everybody’s waiting for – a tape to reveal something like that. And in doing that, you’re scrutinizing Dez, and it’s not fair to him. The Lancaster police say there is no tape. If there was a tape, a video, don’t you think Walmart – their security department – would have found something or shown something at this point with all the investigating that’s going on? Nothing has come up, but still we’re assuming that Dez has done something. And that’s not fair to Dez.”

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