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DALLAS -- In the last few weeks, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant has made headlines not for catching touchdown passes, but for yelling at his teammates on the sideline and being penalized 15 yards for taking his helmet off on the field.

Bryant always said he was being positive. Well Tuesday, we know he was being positive, as he offered his support for an adopt-a-family campaign for the distribution of gifts at Christmas time.

'To have Dez involved [...] you take someone who grew up with a single parent, you see someone who wants to give back, who understands how to give back,' said Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Tennell Atkins. 'He didn't have to do, but he did do it.'

The program, now approaching its seventh holiday season, is being launched from the flag room at Dallas City Hall. That's where family adoptions and unwrapped new toys are being gathered.

'I was unfortunate with things growing up when I was younger,' Bryant said. 'Now I'm fortunate, so it's always good to give back.'

'We've adopted 1,000 families so far,' Atkins said. 'We partner with the Dallas Independent School District and use their council members to go out and adopt the children who are less fortunate. We also make sure the City of Dallas is 100-percent involved.'

While we were there, Bryant showed his support by signing up to adopt two families.

'It's something that I'm going to do annually, every opportunity that I get,' Bryant said. 'I'm going to continue to try and adopt families and just try to make these days the best days of their lives.'

In the past, other members of the Cowboys have been a part of this adopt a family program, but Bryant is so passionate about this campaign, that he's told organizers that he wants to be a part of it for as long as he's a member of the Dallas Cowboys.

E-mail griba@wfaa.com

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