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Cowboys owner understands WR Bryant’s passion


The Sports Xchange

Owner Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys isn’t too concerned about star wide receiver Dez Bryant getting into fights in training camp.

Bryant’s passion has been a topic of discussion since his fight with cornerback Tyler Patmon earlier in camp and again during Tuesday’s joint practice with the St. Louis Rams.

“Let’s just look at our experience with Dez, mine with him here for five years, going on six,” Jones said Friday on 105.3 The Fan. “Look at all of us. We know that when he lights up, it’s like a sparkler lighting up on the other end of the deal. It just sparkles.

“If it’s anything, it not only creates some excitement, it creates tension. You think he’s absolutely a candle burning at both ends. He’s just going to blow up. And, of course, that’s Dez. It’s that personality right there.”

Bryant, who has been dealing with a strained hamstring, is not expected to return until after Sunday’s preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Cowboys have talked to Bryant about saving some of his energy, but they also know he is a fiery competitor who will always be passionate on the playing field.

“I think that’s Dez,” Jones said. “I know that that doesn’t sound too sophisticated to just say, ‘That’s Dez,’ but that is him. The good news is that he realizes, more than ever, the consequences of being so excited, so excitable, that it could affect his play time. Or it could affect his physical ability to go out there and make a play.

“I think that’s when we ought to all be proud that Dez’s rationale clicks in. And it’s a solid rationale. He’ll straighten up and fly right if he thinks he’s going to be taken off the field by his own volition or somebody else’s.”

Jones brought up Muhammad Ali in discussing Bryant’s enthusiasm.

“I accept his extra intensity with passion; I accept that,” Jones said. “It doesn’t surprise me anymore. Are there times when you say, ‘Whoa, back just a little, back just a little, OK?’

“I didn’t know him at all, but I remember as a young man feeling the same way about Muhammad Ali, how much I respected him and then he’d get going, get going, get going and get going and you’d say ‘Whoa, stop about right there. It’s good right up to this point.’ So it wasn’t something that was a turn off.

“I’m not saying that’s the case with Dez. What I will tell you is that there’s no turning it off. He’s as excitable; that enthusiasm is not manufactured. It’s not necessarily orchestrated, he just feels that and we get a lot out of it. I used to think it drained him and might take some of his energy. I don’t anymore. I don’t. And it certainly energizes everybody around him.

“At one point he could run the risk with his teammates of overdoing it. That’s no more because of the respect that everybody has for him. And so when you can perform the way he does, when you’ve shown what you’re willing to give to get to play — and by the way he showed me very clearly, unquestionably he wants to be a Cowboy forever, which is not an issue right now — then you can when it comes to passion, you can do it your way.”

Last month, Bryant signed a five-year, $70 million contract that includes $45 million guaranteed, with a $20 million signing bonus.

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