Check out the Cowboys' rules for Dez Bryant

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Check out the Cowboys' rules for Dez Bryant

From Comcast SportsNetIRVING, Texas (AP) -- The Dallas Cowboys are trying to provide some guidance for Dez Bryant, the talented young receiver who has had issues off the field.Coach Jason Garrett wouldn't go into specifics Monday or describe potential discipline for not abiding by the rules, but he said the Cowboys (No. 15 in AP Pro32) want to support Bryant and his family."What we've tried to do is come up with a plan for Dez like we would for any player who we feel like needs our support, and help him be his best as a player and as a person," Garrett said. "And the accountability factor is an important part of that with him and with anybody on our football team."According to numerous reports, Bryant will attend weekly counseling sessions, have a full-time security team and not be allowed to consume alcohol or attend strip clubs. The security members will drive Bryant to team functions, including practices and games, and the receiver will also be subject to a curfew.Bryant was arrested in July for allegedly assaulting his mother, who has since said she doesn't want authorities to pursue charges against him. The Dallas County district attorney's office has yet to make a decision about misdemeanor family violence charges.There is still the chance that the NFL could discipline Bryant, who is going into his third season with the Cowboys.NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press in an email Monday that the league "will review the facts once the case is resolved by the court." He said the team's guidelines for Bryant will have nothing to do with league discipline."We're going to control what we can control as an organization, and Dez has done everything that we've asked him to do up to this point both on and off the football field," Garrett said. "Any decision about that is out of our control."Despite other off-the-field issues in the past, Bryant was having a solid offseason until his arrest two weeks before the start of training camp. Bryant's adviser, David Wells, and the player's attorney, Royce West, didn't return messages to the AP."We have some things in place and we are still in the process of working out the rest," Wells told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in a story published Monday. "We are all working together to accomplish some things to help him succeed."Bryant hasn't been available to speak to reporters since the start of training camp because of his pending legal issues. He didn't talk in the locker room after practice Monday.In 2008, the Cowboys had a security detail in place for Adam "Pacman" Jones, who had missed all of the previous season with Tennessee and was coming off a 17-month NFL suspension because of repeated legal troubles. Six weeks after being reinstated by the NFL, Jones was involved in an alcohol-related scuffle with one of his bodyguards at a private party in Dallas and was suspended for six games. He was cut by the Cowboys after the season.Cowboys owner Jerry Jones waited a couple of weeks after Bryant was arrested, and a couple of days after the team got to California for training camp, to talk with Bryant. The owner, who called it a serious situation, said he was disappointed and didn't want to be emotional when talking to Bryant.Jones said then that Bryant had already been involved in the team's counseling program.Bryant surrendered to authorities July 16, two days after his mother, Angela, made a 911 call about the alleged assault. The 23-year-old receiver is only 14 years younger than she is.There had been some trouble for Bryant even before the Cowboys drafted Bryant with the 24th overall pick in 2010.Bryant missed nearly his entire last college season at Oklahoma State because of an NCAA suspension for lying about having dinner with Deion Sanders. He ran up hundreds of thousands of dollars in bills on game tickets and jewelry, and was sued by people who said they were creditors.Last year, he was kicked out of an upscale Dallas mall for wearing sagging pants. In January, he was reportedly involved in a fight with the rapper Lil Wayne at a Miami nightclub.Bryant said during the offseason that he was spending more time with the playbook, watching more film and concentrating on his conditioning. There were no issues until the incident with his mother, and haven't been any known problems since then.During the early portion of practice Monday open to reporters, Bryant was initially catching some passes from backup quarterback Rudy Carpenter. Bryant, who has been dealing with right knee tendinitis, then did some rehab work with a trainer alongside tight end Jason Witten (spleen).Bryant and the most of the Cowboys starters aren't expected to play in Wednesday night's preseason finale against Miami. That comes a week before their regular-season opener at the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants.Teammate Marcus Spears said the guidelines were between Bryant and team ownership, but that he was "pretty sure" they were on the same page."Whatever they're doing, they're doing the right things," backup quarterback Kyle Orton said. "He's a special player. He's one of those guys, you find ways to get him the ball. ... You want to give him a lot of touches because one of those touches is going to be a special play, and there's very few of those guys around."

Stars, studs and duds: Smart's rebound 'as big as there was'

Stars, studs and duds: Smart's rebound 'as big as there was'

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – The Boston Celtics came into Sunday’s game looking to rebound from back-to-back losses.

So it was only fitting that down the stretch, one of the biggest plays in Boston’s 104-98 victory over Detroit was – what else? – a rebound.

Marcus Smart out-hustling Detroit’s frontcourt to corral a free throw miss by Jaylen Brown – and getting fouled on the play – was a major factor in Boston (38-21) continuing to solidify its place as the second-best team in the East.

Smart went to the free throw line and made both free throws which put the Celtics ahead 100-96 with 37.3 seconds to play.

“Smart’s free throw rebound was as big as there was,” said Boston head coach Brad Stevens.

Smart had five rebounds for the game, four of which were offensive boards which contributed to his 14 points off the Celtics bench.

His play was needed on a night when the Pistons – like most teams – went to great lengths to make sure anyone but Isaiah Thomas had the ball down the stretch.

And to the credit of Thomas’ teammates like Smart, they delivered.

“We can’t put everything on Isaiah, especially when teams know where we’re trying to go,” Smart said. “They know Isaiah is ‘Mr. Fourth Quarter,’ so they’re going to try everything they can to get the ball out of his hands and make other guys make plays and that’s what we did tonight.”

Here’s a look at the Stars, Studs and Duds from Sunday’s game.

 

STARS

Isaiah Thomas

Boston got yet another big game from their best scorer, with Thomas delivering a game-high 33 points on 10-for-23 shooting.

Andre Drummond

Free throw shooting aside, the Celtics had lots of problems keeping Drummond from dominating the boards. He finished with a double-double of 17 points and 15 rebounds.

 

STUDS

Jaylen Brown

The steady improvement in Jaylen Brown’s game continues with yet another solid performance. He scored 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting which included a corner-3-pointer late in the game to put the Celtics ahead.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

He drained a couple of 3’s in the second half that was critical to Detroit’s near comeback after being down 15 points in the first half. He finished with a team-high 18 points on 6-for-14 shooting with three rebounds and three assists.

Marcus Smart

There is something to be said for making winning plays, something Smart tends to do with a high level of consistency. He had 14 points off the Celtics bench to go with five rebounds – four on the offensive glass – including a late offensive rebound in which he was fouled and later, converted a pair of free throws to put Boston up by four points with 37.3 seconds to play.

Jae Crowder

There were lots of standout performances by the Celtics on Sunday, but few were as under-the-radar as Crowder’s night. He finished with a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds in addition to dishing out five assists along with a steal.

 

DUDS

Kelly Olynyk

It was one of those nights for Olynyk who never got into any kind of flow or rhythm while in the game. He finished with five points, missing six of his eight shot attempts. He grabbed six rebounds but turned the ball over three times in just over 19 minutes of court time. And maybe most telling, his plus/minus was -11 which was the worst figure among Boston players.

Clutch plays down stretch help Celtics hold on for 104-98 win over Pistons

Clutch plays down stretch help Celtics hold on for 104-98 win over Pistons

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – The fourth quarter rolled around and the Boston Celtics got something they seldom get at that time – big plays made by someone not named Isaiah Thomas.

A 3-pointer from the corner by Jaylen Brown and a hustle play by Marcus Smart proved to be the difference for Boston as they held on for a 104-98 win over the Detroit Pistons.

Trailing 96-95, Brown drained a 3-pointer and was fouled on the play.

On the miss, Smart grabbed the rebound and was fouled.

Smart, who had 14 points and five assists, made both free throws that put Boston up 100-96 with 37.3 seconds to play.

The Pistons would never get any closer as the Celtics (38-21) snapped a two-game losing streak and just as important, won the head-to-head series three games to one.

While it’s unlikely these two will finish the regular season with an identical record, the Celtics need to win as many head-to-head battles in the East as they can just to make sure they don’t run into a situation like they did last year when they finished in a four-way tie and ultimately wound up as a fifth seed.

Despite winning three of the four meetings this season, the Pistons (28-31) never make it easy.

A strong finish in the third quarter had Detroit trailing Boston by just five points going into the fourth. It soon became a one-possession game after Jon Leuer short jumper.

Smart got the Celtics on the scoreboard in the fourth by draining a jumper while being fouled by Andre Drummond. The 3-point play put the Celtics ahead 82-76 with 9:41 to play.

Detroit responded with an 8-2 spurt to tie the game at 84-all following a lay-up by Jon Lauer with 6:03 to play.

Boston scored four of the next five points to regain their lead, but there was no mistaking the Pistons were not going away anytime soon.

Throughout the fourth, Detroit began to get more of the 50/50 balls, resulting in second and third-shot opportunities which for several stretches proved to be the best play call for the Pistons.

Boston’s biggest weakness against Detroit, rebounding, was alive and well and as problematic as ever.

But the Celtics did just enough when it mattered to more than hold their own on the boards.

They finished +6 (51-45) on the boards against Detroit, leading after each quarter of play.

Detroit tied the game at 88 on a 3-pointer from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope that rattled in with 3:55 to play.

Not surprisingly, the Celtics got the ball in Isaiah Thomas’ hands and he soon put Boston back on top 90-88 following a pair of free throws.

Detroit went ahead 93-92 following a trio of free throws by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope only for a Marcus Smart put-back basket put the Celtics back on top.

Caldwell-Pope wasn’t done. He drained a 3-pointer that put the Pistons (96-94) back on top with 2:08 to play.

Boston led by as many as 15 points, but saw their lead all but wiped away by the time the fourth quarter rolled around.

Detroit, picking up its overall aggression and efficiency scoring the ball, were within 70-66 in the third before a turnover led to a Jae Crowder lay-up with about three minutes to play in the quarter.

Boston began to surge away with Terry Rozier draining a 3-pointer followed by a pair of free throws that put the Celtics ahead 78-69 with 1:32 to play in the third.

It was yet another example of the ‘Next-Man-Up’ mantra that has been instrumental to Boston being able to sustain one injury after another.

Rozier’s role was increased in part because of his play, but also because of Gerald Green’s heel injury. He would finish with 13 points off the bench.

But the Pistons continued to prove to be pesky bunch as they chipped away at Boston’s lead which stood at 79-74 going into the fourth quarter.