Former Cowboys fullback Daryl Johnston didn't hold back when asked about troubled receiver Dez Bryant at the Emmitt Smith Celebrity Poker Tournament and Charity Golf Tournament Pairing Party Friday night at the Westin Stonebriar in Frisco.
He said the fact that former Cowboys player Deion Sanders wants nothing to do with him anymore says a lot.
"I don’t know. I don’t know what you do with Dez Bryant, because when Deion Sanders gives up on you that speaks volumes to me," Johnston said. "Deion goes out of his way to help young guys and try to help them reach their potential in the NFL. And when Deion says, ‘I can’t work with you anymore,’ that’s the first time he has ever done that.
"This is a person with unique talent but with unique issues. And it would be a disappointment for Dez, number one, his family, the Cowboys, and their fans if he doesn’t live up to the potential he flashed as a rookie.
"He was by far the most talented guy on that field many times during last fall. And the sky’s the limit for that kid. And I just hope that at some point, he understands and realizes that he shouldn't waste two or three years because his head is not in the game."
Johnston was even more adamant when asked if Bryant's talent and problems were similar to those of his former teammate and Hall of Famer receiver Michael Irvin.
"Don’t ever compare him to Michael Irvin, because they are polar opposites," Johnston said. "Michael was high-profile and he had the 'playmaker' nickname, but Michael was the hardest worker on that team.
"So, one of the things you have to be careful with is that all of a sudden you don’t say he’s high-profile and he’s dynamic as a player and reach back and compare him to Michael. It couldn’t be further from reality.
"We had big personalities, but we had guys who came to work, and all they wanted to do was win football games. And hopefully that’s what Dez realizes — that this is not about finishing your rookie contract. You got drafted in the first round last year. Your hard work has just begun.
"If you don’t bust your butt in the NFL, you won’t be there very long."
— Clarence Hill