Dallas Cowboys

One Down, One To Go for Cowboys Receiver Dez Bryant

Once upon a time Michael Irvin taught me a journalism lesson. Using a trash can for emphasis.

It was back in 1997. The media had descended on Valley Ranch after Irvin's name surfaced in yet a another police report. This time, he and offensive lineman Erik Williams were accused of raping of a stripper named Nina Sharavan.

Tired of being bugged by us dogged, dorky reporters, Irvin sent a message by yelling "When the truth comes out, I want you to report it with the same intensity! The same intensity!!"

With that, he hurled a big trash can at no one in particular and everyone in general as he left the locker room. The lesson? If it's front-page news when someone is accused of a crime, it should also be front-page news when/if they are exonerated.

And now comes the case of another Cowboys receiver, Dez Bryant. The details are different, but some of Irvin's principle argument applies.

Follow me to fairness.

When news surfaced recently that Bryant had more than $800,000 in unpaid bills stemming from the purchases of jewelry and tickets and loans, it was major news. Justifiably so. He's a  high-profile athlete making immature decisions that could affect the success of the Cowboys.

And now that Bryant has paid off some of that debt, it should be reported as well.

Okay, here goes: Bryant has settled one of the two lawsuits against him, reaching a settlement with New York-based A+A Diamonds and Rafaello Company. The jeweler had maintained that Bryant owed it $267,000, including $60,000 for a custom diamond pendant.

Good for him. No, it shouldn't have gottent to this point. But it's never too late to do the right thing, and Bryant deserves credit for paying money he owes.

There remains another debt, one that Colleyville's Eleow Hunt claims is more than $600,000 Bryant hasn't re-paid for jewelry, tickets to sporting events and a personal loan. When it gets settled -- per Irvin -- you'll read about it here.

Here's hoping Bryant is learning some lessons along the way as well.