The Cowboys are reportedly in negotiations with Plaxico Burress according to Stephen Jones, but not in negotiations with him according to Jerry Jones. But what’s more important here is how this effects Dallas’ troubled receiver Dez Bryant. That needs to be in consideration here. And there are two sides to this coin.
Argument AGAINST Plaxico Burress
Why on earth would you bring a gun toting felon into your locker room to play alongside Dez Bryant who already got into a “club altercation” with rapper Lil Wayne and his entourage. Dez Bryant was just arrested for allegedly assaulting his mother. It’s like adding fuel to fire by putting a bad influence around a troubled player.
I heard someone say on Facbeook that you’d bring Plaxico in and he’d just up Dez’s arsenal and next time he won’t be slapping someone he’ll be pistol whipping them, or worse.
He’s also aging and his best football is behind him.
Argument FOR Plaxico Burress
He can be a role model to Dez because he has gotten himself in trouble, so consequently he can tell him what not to do, and share prison stories. Almost like an episosde of “Scared Straight” where they send troubled teens into prisons to show them what it’s like so they’ll get their s#&% together.
But Plaxico can share the hardships of his poor decisions and what he lost and missed out on. We see the NFL use this tactic in the Rookie Symposium, just this year they had two players, Michael Vick and Adam “Pacman” Jones, who had off field troubles talk to the rookies about making the right decisions and what a privilege it is to play in the NFL.
Does it work? Ehhh… some people need to learn the hard way, some people learn the right way. One this is for sure the amount of NFL players being arrested isn’t slowing down.
So where do I stand on this issue?
Don’t sign Plaxico. He had 7 redzone TD’s and that is something the Cowboys do need and will miss because that was something Laurent Robinson brought to the table. But you don’t need to bring him in because of the risk with Dez and Bryant doesn’t need a Burress to be a role model.
What, Dez doesn’t need a role model?
Dez Bryant already has a role model in the huddle, Jason Witten. Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com wrote an incredible piece about how Jason Witten can be such a positive role model for Dez Bryant.
Jason Witten, like Dez Bryant had a troubled child hood. But unlike Dez, so far, Jason Witten has overcome his childhood and been successful. Witten as a child watched his father regularly slap and beat his mother and curse at her.
Eventually his mother brought him and his 2 brothers to live with her father in her hometown in Tennessee. She asked her father to care for them because she couldn’t.
“A lot of people had it worse than I did and a lot of people had it better than I did,” said Witten, “but I was never going to allow that circumstance to be a crutch for me, and I was able to turn out this way.”
Dez grew up with his mother going in and out of prison in Lufkin, TX where his coaches would bring extra food to school for him.
“You gotta have people to guide you and believe in those dreams with you and kind of show you the way,” Witten said, “but there’s something inside of you that kind of wires you a certain way that says no one is going to define who I am.
“That bad decision he made or they made time and time again isn’t going to get in the way of what I am and what I want to become.”
The Cowboys have fired security personnel for Dez Bryant to help keep him out of trouble, something we’ve seen the Cowboys do before with Pacman Jones. The DFW area Texas Rangers do something similar with an “accountability partner” for their star Josh Hamilton.
But aside from that bond that Witten and Dez have, Jason is the ultimate professional. He works hard, he’s consistent on and off the field and a leader. Someone Dez Bryant should definitely be looking up to.