Cover Guy: Dez, Rolling Stone + Jerry Love
The Dallas Cowboys say Dez Bryant is about to be a "face of the NFL.'' Indeed, that was part of Jerry Jones' conversation with Bryant's Roc Nation reps as the two sides forged the star receiver's new five-year, $70-million deal.
And suddenly, Dez is moving from that meeting to having his face on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, he told us in an exclusive interview almost a month ago ... and here it is:
"It's a magazine cover,'' he told Fish at the start of camp in a visit heard on 105.3 The Fan. "Shirt off and pads on. I’ve done (the photo shoot already). It's for sure.''
The magazine is Rolling Stone, significant in that it's non-sports ... and really, bigger than sports. "It's music, movies, etcetera,'' Dez said. "I'm a football guy but (the feature story will be) more on personal level.''
The appearance is timed, of course, for the opening of football season (We're told Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck are also part of the regional cover concept.) It's also clearly a product of his relationship with Jay Z's Roc Nation, which obviously has the pull to make this sort of high-profile deal happen.
“I think when I signed with Roc Nation, that was life changing deal for me,” Bryant said a few days ago. “They just helped me understand a lot of things. A lot of questions were answered. They also mean the world to me, too. They put me in a different light. What I mean by that is like they’re showing me things. I might have been on that (positive marketing) route but they just know how to maximize it and give me that full understanding of certain things. And things that I thought about, they made me feel comfortable bringing it out, expressing myself the right way, the correct way. Just the way that they do things is all the way right.”
Bryant believes he is conducting himself with more maturity (along with the familiar passion that led to his fistfight with teammate Tyler Patmon) and he gives some of the credit to Roc Nation for that, too. (And yes, when you hear Fish talk of his conversations with Bryant on incidents since the Patmon fight, Dez continues to believe he's doing the right Alpha Dog thing for his team.)
“Look at me,'' he said. "Look at how I’ve been going about my business. I give them credit for that. They gave me a boost of confidence, I give them that. They gave me a boost of confidence. And I thank them. I’m cautious in a good way about the moves that I make.''
This, of course, is a very cool move. Once you get beyond the pads-but-no-shirt cover, you can assume to read about Dez' personal side, business side and, we bet playful side ...
... because that never goes away for long.
As you can hear in our 1-on-1 visit here from 105.3 The Fan, Dez even wanted to be playful in getting to the point of Fish's questions. So they played a bit of a coy guessing game ... even though he knew he knew.
"You're hot as a firecracker,'' Dez said to Fish.
But no sir. If you're on the cover of the Rolling Stone, you are about to be as a firecracker. Of course, it's still all, ultimately, about football. That's why Dez is back on the Tuesday practice field and it's why even on Sunday, in a preseason game at the 49ers' Levi's Stadium in which he did not play, Dez was thinking about trying to do the right thing for the right people.
“I want to be here for you,” Bryant told Jerry Jones before the game in Santa Clara, in a story relayed by Jones to 105.3 The Fan. “I want to win this Super Bowl for you.”
This is a step-by-step process, of course. Practice. Games. Success. Fame. All of that is part of Dez' journey.