Why Dallas Cowboys' Dez Bryant Can Redeem Himself with Epic 2012 Season

Chris Hummer@chris_hummerAnalyst IJuly 26, 2012

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 17:  Wide receiver Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys waives to fans before play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers December 17, 2011 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

There is nothing like success to make people forget about mistakes, and that's why Dez Bryant can redeem himself to Dallas Cowboys fans and teammates with an outstanding 2012 season. 

Bryant was arrested on June 16 and was charged with a misdemeanor of domestic violence, stemming from an incident when he allegedly struck his mother during an argument, according to police.

On Tuesday, Bryant's mother spoke out and downplayed the incident, stressing that no family violence had occurred.

This takes a considerable amount of heat off of the young receiver, as the legal charges will likely be dropped.

However, this is still a discouraging episode for a player who has had numerous off-the-field issues in his two years with the Cowboys.

He's been kicked out of malls, had a fallout with an all-time great and, going back to his days at Oklahoma State, missed almost his entire junior year after violating an NCAA bylaw.

Still, for the Cowboys at least, it's been his lack of production on the field that's the most pressing concern.

In his two seasons, Bryant has yet to reach the 1,000-yard mark, and he has done a disappearing act late in games.

For a player with the talent of Bryant, that level of production is unacceptable.

Although, he can alleviate all of his issues—on and off-the-field alike—with a Pro Bowl-type year.

Not just statistically, but in the game-deciding clutch moments.

He needs to be the guy that Tony Romo can look to in crunch time. The player that can make the explosive play down the field. The individual who's willing to run a route in the middle of the hash marks to secure a first down. Most importantly, be the red-zone threat the Cowboys have lacked.

Bryant has the potential to do all of these things.

He's as physically gifted as any player in the NFL. His 6'2" frame allows him to tower over most defense backs, and his leaping ability gives him an enormous pass-catching radius. Plus, his 4.5 speed allows him to eat up space quickly, making him dangerous after the catch.

If he utilizes all of his physical tools while finding the mental fortitude to perform late in games, he should transform into one of the elite pass-catchers in the NFL.

Still, you might be thinking: "Just how does a great performance on the field make up for all of the immature choices he's made off of it?"

Well, it's simple; fans are quick to forgive a star.

Michael Vick epitomizes this.

In 2007, Vick was vilified for his involvement with dog fighting. For his egregious behavior, Vick served 23 months in jail.

After he was released, Vick was consistently voted Forbes' most-hated athlete in America, and still continues to be.

Still, despite his detractors, many have begun to view him in a different light. He has a new Nike shoe deal, his jerseys are selling well and a lot of people have forgiven him for his crimes.

Crimes that were much worse than Bryant's immaturity streak.

Actually, Bryant's situation compares well to that of the Cowboys' previous No. 88, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.

In his younger days, after he left the University of Miami, Irvin was a brash and outspoken young man who made his share of mistakes.

He even had a slow start to his career, like Bryant.

It took Irvin until his fourth season to reach the 1,000-yard mark. From there, he broke off one of the best eight-year runs by any wideout in NFL history.

Funny enough, all of his issues started to be overlooked by the Cowboys' faithful around this time. It didn't hurt that he helped deliver three rings, either.

If Bryant has a phenomenal 2012 campaign, his career ark could take a positive turn just like Irvin's did.

In a lot of ways this country epitomizes second chances, and in the world of sports, people are especially quick to forgive stars.

If Bryant can find a way to make 2012 his breakout year, he will be right back in the public's good graces.

It's amazing what a few touchdowns can do for a guy, huh?


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