By Clarence E. Hill Jr.
Dallas _ In effort to get the ugly incident in July behind him, Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant entered a conditional dismissal agreement with the Dallas County District Attorney’s office in an effort to resolve the misdemeanor family charge involving his mother, Angela Bryant.
According to his attorney Royce West, Bryant will undergo a year of anger management counseling and must stay out of trouble for a year. If he does all that, the original charges will be dropped, per the agreement with the district attorney.
The key to the agreement, according to West, is that Bryant continues to maintain his innocence and never had to enter a plea.
“It did not require a plea to be entered, and we still say he is innocent of any charges,” West said. “But to get the issue behind him, we entered into this agreement with the district attorney. The bottom line is if Dez keeps his nose clean, and he has never been in trouble before, and if does counseling that he has already started, it will be dismissed in a year.”
West said the Bryant understands the seriousness of the incident, and he and his family are happy to get the issue behind them.
West also said “the family was closer than they have ever been”, as “they have learned from the experience and were ready to move forward.”
“Both Dez and his mother are satisfied with today's decision,” West said. “Ms. Bryant did not want charges filed against her son. After having an opportunity to talk to people who witnessed the incident she filed an Affidavit of Non-Prosecution with the District Attorney's Office. The family always felt they could resolve this matter."
According to NFL spokesman Greg Aeillo, Bryant’s case will be reviewed by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell under the league's personal conduct policy. He could face further discipline from the NFL.
West said he has focused mainly on the district attorney and has yet to address how the league would handle it. But he doesn’t expect any additional discipline.
“I would be astonished,” West said. “He hasn’t pled to anything. He hasn’t entered any kind of plea. All he has to do is counseling and stay out of trouble.”
Bryant has never been in trouble with the league before and this was his first arrest. But he has had his share of off-field issues during his three years in the league, including several lawsuits for failure to pay debt and being briefly banned from Dallas’ North Park Center Mall for sagging pants and a dispute with mall security.
Bryant, per the advice of West, his agent Eugene Parker and advisor David Wells, voluntarily began a self-help program in August in which he undergoes weekly anger management classes, abstains from drinking alcohol and has a security detail with him around the clock, even on road trips.