Daily Archives: November 14th, 2012

CONDITIONAL DISMISSAL AGREEMENT: Dez Bryant strikes deal to dismiss family assault charge

Dez Bryant reaches deal with Dallas DA - The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas — In effort to get the ugly incident in July behind him, Dallas Cowboys receive Dez Bryant entered a conditional dismissal agreement with the Dallas County District Attorney’s office in an effort to resolve the misdemeanor family charge involving his mother, Angela Bryant.

According to his attorney Royce West, Bryant will undergo a year of anger management counseling and must stay out of trouble for a year. If he does all that, the original charges will be dropped, per the agreement with the district attorney.

Key to agreement, according to West, is that Bryant continues to maintain his innocence and never had to enter a plea.

“It did not require a plea to be entered and we still say he is innocent of any charger,” West said. “But to get the issue behind him, we entered into this agreement with the district attorney. The bottom line is if Dez keeps his nose clean and he has never been in trouble before and if does counseling that he has already started, it will be dismissed in a year.”

West said the Bryant understands the seriousness of the incident and he and his family are happy to get the issue behind them.

West also said “the family was closer than they have ever been”, as “they have learned from the experience and were ready to move forward.”

“Both Dez and his mother are satisfied with today’s decision,” West said. “Ms. Bryant did not want charges filed against her son. After having an opportunity to talk to people who witnessed the incident she filed an Affidavit of Non-prosecution with the District Attorney’s Office. The family always felt they could resolve this matter."

According to NFL spokesman Greg Aeillo, Bryant’s case will be reviewed by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell under the league’s personal conduct policy and could face further discipline from the NFL.

West said he has focused mainly on the district attorney and has yet to address how the league would handle it. But he doesn’t expect any additional discipline.

“I would be astonished,” West said. “He hasn’t pled to any thing. He hasn’t entered any kind of play. All he has to do is counseling and stay out of trouble.”

Bryant has never been in trouble with the league before and this was his first arrest, although he has had his share of off the field issues during his first three years in league, including several lawsuits for failure to pay debt and being briefly banned from Dallas’ North Park Center Mall for supposedly sagging pants and a dispute with mall security.

Per the advice of West, his agent Eugene Parker and advisor David Wells, Bryant voluntarily began self-help program in August in which he undergoes weekly anger management classes, abstains from drinking alcohol and has a security detail with him around the clock, even on road trips.

RELATED: Bryant agrees to anger management after family dispute

Dez Bryant reaches deal with Dallas DA video link - The Boys Are Back blog

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.

Bryant was arrested in July in suburban Dallas 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 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.

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."

Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins said the counseling is aimed at making sure Bryant is never again in the court system.

"This is an opportunity for Dez Bryant," said Watkins. "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."

Dallas 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.

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 an upscale Dallas mall for wearing sagging pants. In January, he was reportedly involved in a fight with rapper Lil Wayne at a Miami nightclub.

Courtesy: Schuyler Dixon | NBC KXAS Dallas

NBC 5’s Randy McIlwain contributed to this story. Click here to watch the short video

TEXAS HOLD-EM: Weeden must know when to be aggressive, conservative (RIVAL HEADLINE)

Cleveland Browns coach Pat Shurmur - The Boys Are Back blog

BEREA, Ohio — Cleveland Browns coach Pat Shurmur minced no words Wednesday afternoon when asked what quarterback Brandon Weeden needs to do better in these last seven games.

"Don’t throw interceptions. Done. End of story," said Shurmur. "I want to be right to the point."

But he still doesn’t want Weeden to lose the gunslinger mentality that he brought with him from Oklahoma State.

"The essence of a quarterback is you have to be a good decision-maker," Shurmur said. "And you decide when it’s important to try to be aggressive with a throw and then it’s also important to then be smart with the football. I’ve looked at all of those interceptions and there are times when he could’ve made better decisions. There’s of course things that have happened where a ball bounces off a guy’s chest. So you look at all of those things. You don’t want to play anxious football, but you also have to be smart."

He said despite Weeden’s chances, he still believes in him wholeheartedly.

"I think he’s got a chance to be an outstanding player. I don’t think there’s any question about it," Shurmur said. "He’s got to lead us to victories and don’t throw interceptions."

He said Weeden sees defenses well and understands concepts.

Shurmur addressed a number of other topics in his press conference Wednesday afternoon:

On Greg Little addressing the team on Monday about making sacrifices: "I knew he was going to do it. He called me and asked if he could talk in the first team meeting. I thought his comments were very insightful and I was glad he did it. I’ve always appreciated Greg because he’s a competitor. He’s a tough guy. He’s fun to work with because he listens."

On Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo: "The game is never over when he’s got the ball in his hand. He’s got outstanding weapons to throw the football to. Jason Witten leads all tight ends with 66 receptions, he’s got explosive players on the outside, they run the ball well and he’s proven he can win games in this league. He makes big-time plays and that’s what makes him dangerous."

• He said tight end Ben Watson is the honorary fourth game captain this week.

On right tackle Mitchell Schwartz: "I expected him to be a very good player from day one because he was the starter. I’m extremely hopeful he’s going to be a good player for a long time."

• He said Trent Richardson told him his ribs feel better after the bye week.

On whether certain players will get more playing time after the bye-week evaluation: "Maybe yes, maybe no. Probably maybe yes."

On Josh Cribbs: "We know what kind of an impact he has on special teams, which can’t go unnoticed. He does more than just the average punt returner and kick returner, because he’s involved in all of the coverage units and he’s an outstanding competitor in that phase and I really appreciate it."

On Cowboys rookie cornerback Morris Claiborne: "We spent a lot of time evaluating him, had him in, he was one of the guys we talked to quite a bit. He’s an outstanding player. He plays very well in bump-and-run. He challenges all the time. A guy that challenges and is very talented has a chance to be successful."

Courtesy: Mary Kay Cabot | The Plain Dealer

FLASHBACK: Jason Garrett has fond memories of Cleveland childhood

Video - Jason Garrett Press Conference - Cowboys vs Browns - The Boys Are Back blog

Jason Garrett grew up around the Cleveland Browns. His father, Jim, was a Browns assistant coach for seven seasons from 1978-84. The Cowboys coach has fond memories of his time in Cleveland.

"That was the time of the Cardiac Kids," Jason Garrett, 46, said Wednesday. "Sam Rutigliano was the head coach. He did a great job there. Brian Sipe was the quarterback. They really had some great teams, some fun teams."

The Browns went 51-54 in those seven seasons, with two playoff appearances. But those teams set the stage for Cleveland reaching the AFC Championship Game three times in the late 1980s.

Sipe played for the Browns from 1974-83, passing for 23,713 yards with a 74.8 passer rating before departing for the USFL. He played two seasons in the USFL before retiring.

"Sipe was my guy," Garrett said. "He was fantastic. I didn’t really know him. I was a relatively young kid, but I was a huge fan. He was unbelievable."

Video - Watch Now - The Boys Are Back blog - Press play

Jason Garrett Press Conference 11/14

Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett speaks to the media from Valley Ranch as his team begins their preparations for the Cleveland Browns.

SALVATION ARMY: Dallas Cowboys take break from field to help out in kitchen

Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign at Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day - The Boys Are Back blog

DALLAS — Jason Witten shows up at the Salvation Army every year to serve an early Thanksgiving lunch. On Tuesday, he brought his buddy with him.

Quarterback Tony Romo was one of the 12 Cowboys veterans who worked the food line and brought plates out to the clients at the Salvation Army’s Collins Social Services Center in Dallas. It’s part of the kickoff to the team’s annual Thanksgiving holiday drive for the charity.

In Fort Worth, another group of players and cheerleaders served a Thanksgiving lunch to Salvation Army residents there.

Romo doesn’t make a lot of public appearances, so it was a treat for the lunchtime crowd and the hosts. The Salvation Army staffer who introduced him — a Cowboys fan since she was 10 years old despite growing up in Washington, D.C. — couldn’t resist calling him over and saying, to cheers, "This is the first time I’ve met Tony Romo. I’m standing by Tony Romo!"

Witten got a grin out of it.

"He does a good job of seeing those fans, and obviously, they have words of encouragement or, sometimes, advice — for all of us, and especially the quarterback," Witten said, drawing a laugh.

Parenthood, said Witten, has affected Romo’s outlook.

"Being a father himself and a family guy, it does provide a perspective," he said. "It’s unbelievable how good his motives are. He just wants to spend time with them and stay away from all the other stuff. That’s what it’s all about, to come here and get the impact, more than anything else."

Romo stayed in the kitchen for the most part, but he took charge there, too. He put Miles Austin on dressing, put himself on rolls.

"He was on the rolls, but you know what? It was a little hot back there," Witten said. "He did provide some entertainment for the staff. Those are stories those people will be able to tell for a long time, getting to work with Tony in the back. He didn’t quite have it mastered like they did."

Other players who participated included DeMarcus Ware, Miles Austin, DeMarco Murray, Phillip Tanner, Kyle Orton, Robert Calloway, Derrick Dockery, Eric Frampton, Orlando Scandrick and Brandon Carr.

Murray, who has missed four games with a sprained foot, said it lifted his spirits to do his part.

"Getting away from everything that deals with football, enjoying life, giving back, being around people who really don’t see football, it was nice to come out here and give," he said.

Sherby Nixon shows rookie Cowboys linebacker Kyle Wilber, left, and running back Lance Dunbar how to prepare a thanksgiving lunch plate - The Boys Are Back blog

Sherby Nixon shows rookie Cowboys linebacker Kyle Wilber, left, and running back Lance Dunbar how to prepare a thanksgiving lunch plate.

Related: Dallas Cowboys get, give good vibes at annual Salvation Army meal

DALLAS – The Cowboys have a couple of Thanksgiving traditions: Playing football on Turkey Day and serving meals to the less fortunate earlier in the month.

Tuesday was the day for the latter tradition.

The Cowboys manned two Salvation Army locations, with the rookies serving meals in Fort Worth and a group of veterans serving meals in Dallas.

“Every time you do it, you’re in the middle of the season and the grind and coming here provides a little perspective,” said Jason Witten, who has been part of the event in each of his 10 seasons. “You’re on somewhat of a platform. You have to say, hey, I’m going to give back to some of the people that look up to you. That’s what being a role model is all about, providing perspective and hopefully encourage them in some way.”

It’s not just about serving meals. The Cowboys sign autographs and interact with people who generally need some good vibes.

“It’s good just to come out here and just give back,” running back DeMarco Murray said. “You always have a soft place in your heart for them. Growing up, you always tried to pray for them and do the right things by them, no matter if it’s bringing them over for a meal, just saying hi or talking to them. Doing anything you can possibly do to make them feel better is what counts.”

Added outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware: “You’ve got to count your blessings. Being a role model for the Dallas Cowboys and having some positivity come into the Salvation Army always feels good.”

RIVAL GAMEPLAN: Cleveland Browns RB Trent Richardson is teams best shot vs. Dallas Cowboys

cleveland browns rookie rb trent richardson vs dallas cowboys 2012 - The Boys Are Back blog

The Cleveland Browns asked rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden to win games for them through the first seven games of the NFL season.

But a 1-6 start convinced the Browns to shift the offensive focus to another rookie — running back Trent Richardson.

Richardson joined the Browns as the third overall pick of the 2012 draft but missed the preseason following an arthroscopic scope of his left knee in early August. Richardson was ready for the start of the season, but the Browns brought him along slowly, never handing him the ball more than 19 times in any of those first seven games.

Richardson did post a 100-yard game against the Bengals in September. But Weeden was the focal point of the offense, throwing 50 passes against the Ravens, 40 more against the Bills and Colts and in the 30s against the Eagles, Giants and Bengals.

Brandon Weeden impressing fans in Cleveland - The Boys Are Back blog

But in the last two games, the Browns have returned to their rushing roots. This is a franchise that sent running backs Marion Motley, Jim Brown and Leroy Kelly to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Cleveland handed Richardson the ball 24 times against San Diego and 25 times against Baltimore. The second best running back ever to come out of Pensacola (Fla.) Escambia High School rewarded the Browns with a pair of 100-yard games — and he scored the game’s only touchdown in a 7-6 victory over the Chargers.

The Browns are coming off a bye, and you can bet Richardson will be the feature attraction when they visit Cowboys Stadium on Sunday.

The Cowboys have been stout against the pass but pedestrian against the run this season. They rank 13th in the NFL in run defense, allowing an average of 105.2 yards per game and 4.1 yards per carry. Marshawn Lynch and Michael Turner rushed for 100 yards in victories over the Cowboys this season.

The Cowboys also will be down two of their best run defenders, end Kenyon Coleman and linebacker Sean Lee, who are on injured reserve.

The Browns like to pound the 5-9, 230-pound Richardson inside — much like the Cowboys pounded their Escambia product Emmitt Smith inside during their Super Bowl era. Richardson left Alabama as the school’s all-time leading rusher and this season ranks third among rookie NFL rushers with his 575 yards and second among rookie scorers with his six touchdowns.

If the 2-7 Browns have a shot against the Cowboys, it’s with the ball in Richardson’s hands.

Related: MATCHUP – Cowboys Dez Bryant vs. Browns CB Joe Haden

Browns Get CB Joe Haden Back Following Four-Game Suspension - The Boys Are Back blog

HADEN
Haden is the Browns’ best cornerback and will likely see his fair share of Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant on Sunday. Haden played in Cleveland’s season opener against Philadelphia – he had an interception and made six tackles – and then was suspended by the NFL for four games for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances. Haden (5-11, 190), who reportedly tested positive in the off-season for the stimulant Adderall, has made 27 tackles. The Cowboys have four interceptions as a team. The Browns have four players who have made two interceptions apiece, including Haden. The former Florida standout has eight interceptions in only 27 career starts over three seasons.

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) celebrates after back judge Greg Yette (38) signals a touchdown - The Boys Are Back blog

BRYANT

Bryant doesn’t have a catch in the fourth quarter of five of his nine games this season, but unlike last year when he didn’t consistently impact games in the second half, it hasn’t been an issue. That’s because Bryant is making big plays at key times, such as his diving 30-yard touchdown catch on the final play of the third quarter Sunday at Philadelphia that tied the score at 17. Bryant has 45 catches for 590 yards and three touchdowns, but the Cowboys would like to see him be more consistent. The Cowboys just concluded a five-game stretch in which they played four road games, and Bryant was either hit or miss every other game.

Brandon George | DMN contributed to this post

STOP THE MADNESS: Not another Sunday night game! Cowboys-Saints could be flexed by NFL

The NFL is thinking about flexing the Dallas Cowboys INTO another Sunday Night Football game.

The Cowboys currently have one more NBC Sunday night game on the schedule,, Dec. 2 when the Philadelphia Eagles visit. That would be their fourth prime time game this season. The NFL allows six.

The fifth could come Sunday Dec. 23 when the New Orleans Saints come to Cowboys Stadium. Currently penciled in for NBC that night is the disappointing San Diego Chargers at the horrible New York Jets. The NFL and NBC would like to get out of that mess.

I know the Cowboys and Saints are both 4-5 but they have upsides. The Cowboys have a four winnable games coming and the Saints have Drew Brees who can carry a team. Not saying it’s a lock but it’s a definite maybe.

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