Dez Bryant on Ezekiel Elliott drama: It’s a ‘steppingstone’
Dez Bryant came out in support of Dallas Cowboys teammate Ezekiel Elliott, saying the young running back can overcome the bumpy start to an NFL career plagued by off-the-field drama, up to and including an incident over the weekend at a Dallas bar.
Bryant made the encouraging comments about Elliott at a barbecue in his hometown of Lufkin, Texas, where 3,000 people reportedly were in attendance.
“It’s just a steppingstone that he’s gonna get over. Zeke’s a young guy,” via an ESPN report. “I’m not blaming it on that. [But] freshman college to playing for America’s team, it’s kinda hard to deal with.
“You gotta give Zeke credit because he do deserve it, he do deserve to have fun. Because he put that work in to have fun. But, as the years pass, as he gets older, he’s gonna mature and things are gonna get a lot smoother.”
Bryant has experienced a fair share of drama during his career as well, albeit nothing as serious as some of the issues Elliott is now navigating. Bryant’s issues mostly have involved sideline outbursts, training camp brouhahas, locker room drama, battles with the media and silly Twitter wars.
But Bryant has left most of those kind of antics in the past. Perhaps Elliott can do the same.
There have been several examples, even in recent NFL history, of players overcoming arguably self-inflicted obstacles to go on to not only enjoy respectable careers but turn into even better citizens. Whether or not Elliott follows that path remains to be seen. While it seems everyone has and continue to have an opinion on Elliott’s issues, it seems like those closest to him believe that a positive rebound to everything ultimately will be the case.
Regardless of how Elliott handles his myriad off-the-field troubles, he may still have to pay for his actions leading up to this point. Sources have told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Elliott’s camp expect him to serve a short suspension to start the 2017 NFL season.
After that? Well, that’s up to Elliott.