Oct 1, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant (88) prior to the game against the Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Drew Pearson: 88 Doesn't Fit Dez Bryant

Drew Pearson, like many former athletes has taken to the public speaking circuit spreding motivational and inspirational messages. The most recent stop for Mr. Pearson most recently addressed a group of Odessa College students at the Odessa College Sports Center on Wednesday.

“Any time I get a chance to speak to young people, I like to take advantage of that,” Pearson said according to the Midland Reporter-Telegram. “My message is just stay the course, no matter how bad it looks. As long as you just stay the course, then you’ve got a good chance of making it happen.”

And while he was directly addressing the students, Pearson wishes that some other people would hear his message.

“I wish they would let me in there,” Pearson said in reference to his former team the Dallas Cowboys. “I would just try to motivate them and make them accountable for the mistakes they’re making and the situations they’re in.”

“I was talking about on the way over here just how much talent they have. Well, talent alone won’t get it done. You have to have heart, as well, and that needs to come to the forefront.”

And a lot of the focus and scrutiny in Dallas’ 2-2 start has been on Dez Bryant, the troubled young receiver with so much upside but who is falling short of his potential. When Dallas acquired Dez by trading up in the draft to get him they thought they had a star, and possibly the next great receiver to wear the star. So when they assigned him the famous #88 jersey, they were letting it be known what kind of player they thought they had and what hopes and aspirations for him.

But many people think his off-field issues are tarnishing the hallowed numbers history. That his mental errors in the game like running the wrong routs and dropping passes aren’t the characteristics of a #88.

“He’s not living up to the expectations that were placed on him by wearing that number,” Pearson said. “Drew Pearson took it to the Ring of Honor level and Michael Irvin took it way beyond that to the Hall of Fame level. When Michael and I had a chance to talk to Dez when he came in his rookie year we told him, ‘Don’t do what Drew Pearson did in it. Don’t do what Michael did in it. Do more than that.’ I know that’s a lot to live up to, but what else is there? You live up to those expectations and people will cherish you for the rest of your life.”

Drew Pearson did insinuate that the fault might not all be Dez’s though. Pearson said the culture in the NFL is different now and that could be why teams don’t often live up to their potential.

“The difference is you had the same players, the same system. Coach (Tom) Landry coached me all 11 years and we always had the same playbook and same system. … Now in the NFL with the salary cap, free agency, you’re changing parts all the time. The continuity of doing the same things over and over again with the same guys led to our success. They don’t get that now.”

Tags: Dallas Cowboys Dez Bryant

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