Now a former player has voiced his disapproval, with former three-time Pro Bowl receiver Drew Pearson calling out Dez Bryant for his poor play this season and defaming the proud Cowboys’ No. 88.
Pearson, who is in the Dallas Ring of Honor and won a Super Bowl in 1978, was the original bearer of the now-prestigious number, and Hall of Famer Michael Irvin later wore it during his career.
The three-time first-team All-Pro spoke to the media after giving a motivational speech at a local Odessa, Texas high school.
“He’s not living up to the expectations that were placed on him by wearing that number,” Pearson said to the Midland Reporter-Telegram. “Drew Pearson took it to the Ring of Honor level and Michael Irvin took it way beyond that to the Hall of Fame level.
“When Michael and I had a chance to talk to Dez when he came in his rookie year we told him, ‘Don’t do what Drew Pearson did in it. Don’t do what Michael did in it. Do more than that.’ I know that’s a lot to live up to, but what else is there? You live up to those expectations and people will cherish you for the rest of your life.”
Pearson's comments come on the heels of Dallas' 34-18 drubbing at the hands of the Chicago Bears Monday. Bryant did make eight catches for 105 yards in the loss, but his miscommunication with quarterback Tony Romo led to a Bears' interception return for a touchdown, and the Cowboys never recovered.
Bryant has yet to score a touchdown this season, despite the considerable talents that made him the Cowboys' first round pick in the 2010 draft. He has 21 receptions for 269 yards after four games, but has created controversy throughout his three-year career.
After the 23-year-old was accused of misdemeanor assault by his mother in July, Dallas created a set of behavior guidelines, later dubbed the “Dez Rules”, that the receiver must abide by, like a midnight curfew and a restriction on certain clubs he can visit.