Jay Novacek: The things that plagued Dez Bryant in the past are gone

Former Cowboys tight end Jay Novacek has been mentoring Dez Bryant and has been very impressed with what he’s seen from him.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever been around a player who just simply wants to play the game of football like Dez does,’’ Novacek said, via the Dallas Morning News. “You know, Michael (Irvin) had an unbelievable desire to win. I think that’s what put Michael ahead of everyone else, just that unbelievable desire to win at all costs when he was out there performing.

“I think Dez has that heart of, ‘I want to play this game every day of my life.’’’

Novacek says Bryant has been taking advice very well.

“The amazing thing about Dez, more than anybody I’ve ever been around, is when I look into his eyes and I tell him something, he’s taking it in,’’ Novacek said. “He’s like, ‘wow, OK, I’ll try that.’

“It’s pretty awesome.’’

Sounds like Bryant is a new man.

“First of all I’m very, very big that the game is not 50 percent mental, 50 percent physical,’’ Novacek said. “The game is not 80 percent mental and 20 percent physical.

“The game is 100 percent mental. You’ve got to be able to mentally control things in all parts of your life.

“I think that’s what he’s done more than anything. The things that have plagued him in the past are gone now. Whether it was his fault or someone else’s fault or the situation, whatever it was, they’re past him and he’s able to be able to say, ‘you know, life is good. Life is all-right. Things are going to happen. I’m going to get over that and I’m going to go out and play the game.’

“I think that has allowed him to really free up mentally and concentrate more or where I need to be and when I need to be there.’’