The NFL draft combine is over, free agency is almost upon as. The Dallas Cowboys have a lot to worry about, and keeping Dez Bryant might be the most important thing. But rumors about a mysterious tape that’s about to be revealed cast a dark, ominous shadow over it all.
Bryant hasn’t had the easiest of upbringing, born to a 14 year old mother later arrested for dealing crack cocaine. Bryant went on to live in eight different homes while at Lufkin High School. He’s had problems with the law in the past, including being arrested in 2012 for allegedly hitting his biological mother. Bryant hanged out with the wrong crowd for a long time, although he’s definitely turned a corner over the last few years, which is also evident on the field.
So what is this tape? Does it even exist? According to Adam Schefter, he has known about it since September, which means a lot of other reporters have as well. The Dallas Cowboys have warned Bryant about the tape possibly coming out at some point, but to the press, the franchise through the team’s owner an other members has denied any knowledge of this tape existing. Bryant himself has reacted to the situation on Twitter, and it seems from his reactions that this is more than just some wild fantasy about an imaginative tape.
So what’s on the tape? The selling point is that it’s much worse than the Ray Rice video, where he’s seen hitting his then fiancee in a hotel elevator. The Bryant tape shows him doing something violent as well, with some suggesting it’s him hitting a pregnant woman at Walmart around four or five years ago. There are screenshots floating around and also some fake Youtube videos that have been uploaded. The assumption is, based also on what Bryant has been tweeting (speaking of being betrayed), is that the people he used to hang out with are trying to blackmail him.
So if it does come out, what does it mean for Bryant? There’s a good chance that this goes well beyond the NFL’s jurisdiction. And being quite terrible at handling situations involving player violence, we really don’t know what the reaction from the league will be. It’ll probably be determined by the amount of outcry it generates on the internet and from the public. From Bryant not playing at all next season, to simply losing a lot of money and bargaining power in his upcoming negotiations.
But it’s all hypothetical at the moment. There are only rumors and allegations which can be quite dangerous in today’s world and form of media. Bryant is still the hottest name in free agency and the most important player for the Dallas Cowboys to re-sign, possibly with a franchise tag although a long term deal for possibly the best wide receiver in the NFL is the likelier option.