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Jeff Ireland will try to find, speak with Dez Bryant

Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland will look for Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant sometime before or after the preseason game between Miami and Dallas Thursday night so that he can close the book on the questiongate incident that happened between the two men just prior to the draft.

A source tells me that Ireland has given thought to the Bryant situation in recent days and would like to speak with Bryant. Ireland and others within the Dolphins organization have discussed how to handle Thursday's likely meeting because the GM knows it will be an issue for the media and perhaps Bryant himself.

Ireland declined to comment on the matter Thursday, citing Miami's policy to have coach Tony Sparano be the club's one voice during the season.

But I am told Ireland has decided he will try to find Bryant and talk to the wide receiver if that search is successful. Ireland has told at least one person that he would "try to make sure Bryant is OK with everything," and perhaps repeat in person what he said during a phone conversation with Bryant following their pre-draft incident.

That incident, which became a national story and caused something of a league-wide fuss, reportedly happened when Ireland asked during that pre-draft interview if Bryant 's mother had ever been a prostitute. Bryant reportedly answered the question by saying his mom had never been a prostitute.

The context of the question is still a mystery as Bryant and Ireland were the only two in the room at the time and neither has really discussed the context of the question. It is known that Bryant had a troubled childhood and that his mother at one time served time for selling drugs. Bryant's mother was since released from jail.

After news about Ireland's question was reported, Ireland apologized to Bryant. He issued this statement first to The Miami Herald and then other media:

"My job is to find out as much information as possible about a player that I'm considering drafting," Ireland said in the statement. "Sometimes that leads to asking in-depth questions.

"Having said that, I talked to Dez Bryant and told him I used poor judgment in one of the questions I asked him. I certainly meant no disrespect and apologized to him.

"I appreciate his acceptance of that apology and I told him I wished him well as he embarks on his NFL career."

Ireland and Bryant spoke by phone after the Cowboys granted the Miami GM permission to speak with their player. The two have not spoken since. But Bryant has made it apparent he wants to move on from the incident and holds no grudge against Ireland.

"I'm pretty sure if I was to see him on the field, I would shake his hand, shake coach Sparano's hand," Bryant told Dallas-area reporters two weeks ago. "Just a lot of misunderstanding in that situation. Everything is fine."

The most outward and obvious manifestation that everything if fine would be a public handshake between the men. But it is believed Ireland may try to catch up with Bryant in a more private setting -- perhaps in the tunnel leading to the field -- rather in the open setting of the field.

Regardless of where it happens, Thursday may mark the close of what was at times an uncomfortable chapter for both men and moreso for Ireland.

Bryant has missed all of the preseason so far but recently returned to practice and is expected to play against the Dolphins.

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