As the Dallas Cowboys ride the high of landing Mike McCarthy as their new head coach and , they turn their eyes and NFL free agency on the whole -- having to mull over. While wide receiver Ventell Bryant isn't one of them, he might've just put himself in position to become one, depending upon how heavy-handed McCarthy wants to be in his new North Texas digs.
Bryant, 23, was arrested on a DWI charge in Tampa, Florida at 2:43 a.m. ET on Wednesday, March 11 -- booked at 4:45 a.m. ET -- with Tampa Police alleging a blood-alcohol level between .102 and .099. The legal limit is .08 in that jurisdiction, which obviously means Bryant was above what a driver is legally allowed. He was held on $500 cash bond and had not been released at the time this article goes to file.
The Cowboys wideout is a native of Tampa and a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High, finding his way into the NFL by way of Temple University and a deal with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2019 after going undrafted. His stay in Ohio was short, however, as Bryant became a roster casualty in final August cutdowns before signing on with the Cowboys a few days later. Initially placed on the team's practice squad, a season-ending injury to safety and special teams ace Kavon Frazier saw Bryant promoted to the active roster in October.
He went on to be available for 10 games but logged no offensive starts and only six combined tackles on the year -- the latter being from a special teams standpoint -- but Bryant did turn his one offensive target into a touchdown.
As the Cowboys work to secure a deal on Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb, and with Dez Bryant knocking feverishly at their door, the club isn't exactly hurting for depth (or options for it) going into this coming season. At best, the younger Bryant just went from trying to prove himself to Jason Garrett in 2019 to making a bad first impression to McCarthy in 2020. He's entering the final year of a two-year deal that's set to pay him a mere $585,000, but his arrest also opens him up to a possible NFL probe that could lead to a suspension.
It's the first real test of McCarthy's regime in Dallas, as far as off-the-field transgressions go, and Bryant can only hope he didn't just put his head into the roster-guillotine.