T.O.: Dez Bryant maturing, misconstrued

OXNARD, Calif. -- Terrell Owens sees a lot of himself in Dez Bryant.

There have been few physical specimens as impressive as Owens to play receiver in the NFL. Bryant is one of them.

But their ability to make acrobatic catches and break tackles aren't the first things that come to Owens' mind when he thinks of the similarities between himself and Bryant. Owens relates to Bryant because they've both been national lightning rods.

"From the standpoint of a guy that is very passionate about the game," Owens said during his Thursday visit to the Dallas Cowboys' training camp. "A lot of what he does can be misconstrued, misinterpreted. His head mentally is in the right place. He is going to go through those growing pains that I'm sure the organization has already realized.

"That is a part of growing up. That is a part of the maturation process that he will live and learn from."

It can be argued that Bryant has matured more in the first four seasons of his NFL career than Owens did in his 15 years in the league.

But Owens, who has developed a friendly relationship with Bryant through various charity events they've participated in together, has sound advice for the 25-year-old Pro Bowl receiver.

"Dez has to obviously realize the opportunity he has in front of him and really make the most of the opportunities, because you never know when your last play or your last game is going to be," Owens said. "I think he's starting to get it and I think he has the right people in his corner to really guide him and pave the way for him."