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May 21, 2013

Dez Bryant says he found himself in a quiet offseason: 'I had to go through a couple things to figure it out'

Dez Bryant is coming off his most quiet offseason as a pro. No family problems. No being asked to leave a mall. No complaints about unpaid bills.

His offseason has been peaceful and enjoyable.

“I’d say I found myself. I’m comfortable in my life,” the fourth-year Cowboys receiver said Tuesday on the first day of OTAs at Valley Ranch. “I’m enjoying being in the NFL. I wish it could have been a couple years back, but I had to go through a couple of things to figure it out.

“I think I’ve got it. I’m just more focused on my job and doing what I love to do, and I just play football.”

Bryant, 24, is coming off his best season with the Cowboys. Last year, he caught 92 passes for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns, playing in all 16 games for the first time.

Bryant said he became more comfortable as a pro by being around pros – players who have succeeded in the NFL for years.

“Listening and looking at people who do it right,” he said. “I had to get around people who do it right. I feel like that’s been my steppingstone – the older guys.”

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said it makes sense that Bryant struggled with his personal life early in his NFL career because many young players do.

“Picture yourself as a 21-year-old coming into this environment, with all the hype and the circumstance around being a No. 1 draft pick in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys,” Garrett said. “He had to work through that like a lot of guys have to work through that, and he had to mature and understand what’s important. I think he’s done all of that. ... He’s gotten some of these other things in his life kind of organized, and together, it reflects in his play.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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