What Now With or Without Dez?

Did anybody find it interesting that when the NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement staff came down with its decision Tuesday night effectively closing the book on Dez Bryant's career with the Oklahoma State Cowboys, Bryant was apparently somewhere in Dallas and was granting an interview to a former Dallas Cowboys beat writer that is now working for ESPNDallas.com.

Bryant really didn't reveal anything in the interview other than to say he is sorry for his mistake and he is hopeful that he will get a better decision from the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee than he did from the NCAA staff.

"But I respect the process," said Bryant in the interview with Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com. "I thank Oklahoma State for appealing the decision and look forward to when I can tell my side of the story."

In case you are wondering, here are the five members of that NCAA committee that will make the final determination of whether Bryant will play for Oklahoma State again or whether he will move on to the pro ranks with his final numbers being 147 receptions (fourth all-time at OSU) and 2,425 yards (fourth) and 29 receiving touchdowns (second).

Division I Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee
Carol Iwaoka, associate commissioner, Big 10 Conference
David K. Wells, senior associate athletic director, University of Mississippi
Kenneth White, faculty athletic representative, Utah State
Tony Hernandez, senior associate athletic director, University of Miami (Fla.)
Nick Fulton, student athlete, University of Wisconsin
Megan McHugo, assistant director, Ivy League

Bryant was sticking to his story Tuesday night about why he did it. Bryant has been consistent that he panicked and felt intimidated by the fact he was talking to the NCAA and they could, and now have, alter his collegiate career.

"I just felt the manner in which I was interrogated by the NCAA was an experience I never had before," explained Bryant. "The manner they asked the questions led me to believe that I did something wrong, when in fact I had not. My mistake was not seeking advice prior to being interrogated and then turning around and not telling the truth."

The 6-2, 220-pound All-American wide receiver, who is still considered easily a top-10 pick in next spring NFL Draft, said he is not focused on his pro career.

"I'm not thinking about that," added Bryant. "I'm helping my team and continuing my course of study."

The question comes up again, what was he doing in Texas on Tuesday night? There may be a simple and logical explanation, but when we tried to find one we couldn't.

Meanwhile, Bryant after only 28 games in the OSU lineup will head on to the NFL unless the committee gives him a reprieve. Oklahoma State has already moved on as the Cowboys have gone 4-0 without Bryant.

In fact, here are some interesting numbers first discovered by Bill Haisten of the Tulsa World, with Dez Bryant this season the Cowboys were 2-1 and 43 receptions for 602 yards and five touchdowns. The averages are 14.1 receptions per game for 200.7 yards, and 1.7 touchdowns a game.

Since Dez has been out the Cowboys have been 4-0 with 76 receptions, 1,022 yards, and nine touchdown receptions. The averages are 19 receptions per game for 255 yards, and 2.25 touchdowns a game. The number of receivers involved in catching passes has gone up from an average of five a game to 7.5 a game.

Now, while the numbers are better, the Cowboys are better with Dez Bryant. Bryant is almost an automatic on the clutch catch and is an impact player opposing defenses and special teams have to be constantly aware of. What these numbers prove is that the Cowboys aren't as bad off without Bryant as one would think.

Hubert Anyiam, Dameron Fooks, Justin Blackmon, Tracy Moore, Wilson Youman, DeMarcus Conner, Cooper Bassett, and more have stepped up. They will continue getting better. As a whole the team has learned to play without Bryant and they know they are good and can win.

Meanwhile, Dez will hopefully come home from Dallas in time to see what the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee decides.

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