INDIANAPOLIS — Perrish Cox cost himself a lot of money with his late nights at the Cotton Bowl. He might have cost himself even more money Sunday at the NFL Combine. Oklahoma State’s wayward cornerback, suspended for his final college game after twice busting curfew in Dallas, did himself no favors when chatting with NFL media at Lucas Oil Stadium. Cox was not defiant, and he expressed contrition at leaving his Cowboy teammates in a lurch some 36 hours before they were to play Ole Miss. But he also talked about how team officials "harassed” him about the issue during his Combine interviews. He used the word "harass” five times in a 10-minute press conference. Maybe Cox doesn’t know the meaning of the word. Maybe he got no coaching from his agent. Maybe he doesn’t know the NFL’s new world order, where knuckleheads’ draft status plummets. "You’re going against the grain,” Gil Brandt said of trying to convince NFL personnel to overlook transgressions. Brandt, the Dallas Cowboys’ scouting director in the Tom Landry days and now chief draft analyst for nfl.com, said Cox is a "talented player. But people now have taken the attitude, they’d rather have a 70 percent dependable player than a 100 percent undependable player. "It’s unfortunate. I don’t think he’s going to go as high as had he not had those two late nights out in Dallas. When he does things like that, it costs him money.” Cox has first-round talent; he’s a very good cornerback with big-play ability returning kicks. First-round talent and 20th-round common sense. Cox missed curfew six nights before the Cotton Bowl (along with several teammates), was busted and disciplined by OSU coach Mike Gundy. But on New Year’s Eve, Cox missed curfew again. "I went out, met up with my girlfriend at the time,” Cox said. "It was a bad choice. Couldn’t make it back on time.” Bad choice is putting it lightly. Besides letting down his teammates, who lost a hard-fought Cotton Bowl, Cox cost himself no telling how much money. Rookie contracts fall dramatically after the first round. Combine interviews aren’t designed for players to talk teams into taking a chance on a high-risk high pick. They’re designed for the teams to figure out whether they want to mess with the player in any round. "That’s one of the main things they harass with me,” Cox said. "It’s kind of tough. It was a mistake. Something I did wrong. I shouldn’t have left in the first place. I’ve gotten used to it. I kind of knew that was going to happen.” What does he tell teams? "I tell them straight up, it was my fault. I shouldn’t have left. I take all the blame. Coach did what he had to do. I had to accept it. If I wouldn’t have left, it wouldn’t have happened.” Cox delivers his words with charm. He’s got a friendly smile and a good personality. Many an NFL coach or executive would be drawn to Cox if not for his rap sheet. But given his history, Cox’s attitude will turn off teams. Compare Cox to Dez Bryant, who lost most of his 2009 season for lying to NCAA investigators. Bryant didn’t duck any questions at the Combine, but his eyes didn’t dance and his face rarely found a smile. He answered yes, sir and no, sir and seemed to be quietly pleading for a second chance. NFL teams are going to like Bryant’s attitude much more than they like Cox’s. And Cox knows it. "Really ain’t convincing them any,” he said. "I tell ‘em straight up ... it was a stupid mistake. I learned from it, it won’t happen again. I don’t want to get suspended again, get harassed like I’ve been getting harassed. It’s something I’ve learned from. It’s done, I can’t get it back. Just move on.” Move on, and move down. Down, down, down in the NFL Draft. Berry Tramel: 405-760-8080; Berry Tramel can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.