Another week, another issue for the Dallas Cowboys. This time around, it was newly added cornerback Nolan Carroll who disappointed masses of fans who root for the team.
How on earth, do you throw a party, for yourself, and not think to arrange transportation home? Never mind, the answer is always stoopidity, followed by an apology.
The bigger question that has arisen from the situation, however, is if there is such a thing as an RKOG? That stands for the Right Kind of Guy that head coach Jason Garrett loves to talk about when he mentions a player. Many have now said that it doesn’t exist with the rash of incidents on the Cowboys in the last few years.
There is such a thing as an RKOG, but it has more to do with football. Perhaps those wondering miss that point, or maybe I do, but here’s the difference.
Garrett uses phrases like “loves to compete,” “loves the game” or “goes about it the right way.” These are ways to describe how a player trains himself to perform. It’s about the workouts, the meetings, the practices and everything that goes into preparing for a game or the season. These are guys who eat, sleep and breathe the game of football.
That’s what is mostly meant by RKOG’s, it’s about football.
Now, in some measure, being the right kind of guy also has to do with being clean off the field. It’s just not as important as what happens on it; a smaller piece of the player pie. Garrett doesn’t need choir boys on the field, he needs players who love the game. Remember, Garrett played with Michael Irvin, Erik Williams and Charles Haley among others in the era of the infamous Cowboys’ White House, so being a clean person off the field is not a prerequisite to winning. Having good players who love football is.
Bemoan that fact all you want; having good dudes on and off the field is ideal, but it isn’t reality. Coaches cannot be with the players 24×7 and at some point, the players have to make adult decisions. Sometimes, it’s a bad one.
And it’s not like the team hasn’t tried to facilitate having good citizens as well. Garrett loves to draft team captains every year, but that’s no guarantee players will stay out of trouble. A fine example of that is Prescott, who was charged with (and later found not guilty of) a DUI before the draft last year. The Cowboys still selected him with the case pending and it has paid dividends.
This isn’t a cop-out to what’s happened in the last few off-seasons for the Dallas Cowboys because there are no excuses. It reflects poorly on the organization and is thoroughly embarrassing. Players have to be smarter, they know the rules, and should be held accountable, Garrett included. Cutting a player to make an example of them is something that should be up for debate.
What’s a tad clearer is what it means to be an RKOG, or if they truly exist? They do, it’s just more about playing the game on the field, than what happens off of it.
You can chat with or follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi