Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant?says he isn't worried about teammate? Ezekiel Elliott and believes the running back will learn to avoid off-field drama as he matures.
Elliott, who turns 22 on Saturday, has spoken with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones this week after an incident at a Dallas bar left a man with a nose injury. A source said?Elliott was involved, but Dallas Police suspended the investigation,?citing a lack of witnesses and an inability to contact the victim.
In the past 12 months, Elliott has also dealt with a domestic violence accusation and a citation for driving 100 mph in a 70 mph zone.
"It's just a steppingstone that he's gonna get over. Zeke's a young guy. I'm not blaming it on that. [But] freshman college to playing for America's team, it's kinda hard to deal with," Bryant told reporters on Thursday.
"You gotta give Zeke credit because he do deserve it, he do deserve to have fun. Because he put that work in to have fun. But, as the years pass, as he gets older, he's gonna mature and things are gonna get a lot smoother."
The 28-year-old Bryant, now a veteran of seven seasons with the Cowboys, speaks from experience. His maturity has come into question during his NFL career; he has been arrested,? banned from a shopping mall and sued on more than one occasion.
Bryant made his comments in his hometown of Lufkin, Texas, where he threw a barbecue to thank his supporters. Lufkin police spokeswoman Jessica Pebsworth on Friday estimated the crowd to be about 3,000 attendees.
Former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo also defended Elliott on Thursday, telling the?"Ben and Skin Show" on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas that his former teammate "is a good kid and he's just trying to find his way."
Elliott has received a report from the NFL on its findings from an investigation into the domestic violence accusation. Sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter that Elliott was preparing a response to the league. While the league has denied that any decision has been made on whether Elliott will be disciplined, sources told Schefter that Elliott's camp is bracing for a short suspension.
The NFL will not announce any possible Elliott discipline Friday or this weekend, a league official told Schefter.
The Cowboys report to training camp Saturday.
ESPN's Todd Archer and The Associated Press contributed to this report.