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Cowboys' Bryant could get family violence charge dismissed

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Associated Press
11/15/2012 5:41:51 PM
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IRVING, Texas -- By the third time in a matter of two minutes that Dez Bryant said he was ready to "focus on football," he laughed.

The Dallas Cowboys receiver knew he was being repetitive. He just wasn't really sure what else to say once he had announced Thursday that he was "excited" to have an agreement with prosecutors that could lead to dismissal of a family violence charge over a dispute with his mother.

Bryant is attending anger management sessions, and the Dallas County district attorney's office will dismiss the misdemeanour charge if the third-year receiver stays out of trouble for a year. Bryant's attorney, Texas state Sen. Royce West, arranged the deal.

"He did a great job and took care of it," Bryant said. "That situation is behind me, and I'm just focused on football right now."

Bryant was arrested in July in suburban Dallas after he allegedly hit his mother, Angela Bryant, in the face with a ball cap. A police affidavit says he also grabbed her T-shirt. His mother formally asked prosecutors not to pursue the case.

Speaking to reporters in the Cowboys locker room, the third-year receiver said he appreciated the support of his teammates and acknowledged being disappointed that the incident happened. Mostly, he said he was relieved.

"I just feel better, man, that it's done and it's over with," Bryant said.

The counselling program is set up through the office of Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins, and the charge will be dropped if Bryant doesn't get arrested during his year in the program, said spokeswoman Debbie Denmon.

"Craig Watkins feels that the conditional dismissal is the best solution for all parties involved," Denmon said. "We looked at the family violence assault case and determined that one year of counselling was needed to make Dez a good citizen."

According to reports, the Cowboys agreed to provide Bryant a security team while restricting his off-field activities. The Cowboys haven't commented specifically on those limitations.

"Like we said right from the start, we support Dez and his family," Dallas coach Jason Garrett said. "No real comment beyond that."

Bryant was projected as a top 10 draft pick but fell to the Cowboys at No. 24 in 2010 in part because of a troubled past. He missed almost all of his final season at Oklahoma State after the NCAA suspended him for lying about having dinner with Deion Sanders.

There were pre-draft rumours that Bryant skipped meetings and classes at Oklahoma State, and his pro day was marred by banter that he had forgotten the cleats he planned to wear for the workout.

He has also run into trouble off the field since the Cowboys drafted him, and his production in Dallas has been spotty. He has a pair of 100-yard games this year, but he followed one of those with a one-catch game against Atlanta. Bryant has 45 catches for 590 yards and three touchdowns, and says he thinks he's improving.

"I feel like I put in time, a little bit of extra time to be able to feel more comfortable in the offence and asking questions instead of keeping my mouth closed," Bryant said. "I feel like that helped me out a lot."

Dez Bryant (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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