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Cowboys Find More Off Field Trouble

Damien Wilson

All it took was two weeks; less than two measly weeks after I wrote that Dallas Cowboys fans would be holding their breath to get through the next month without hearing about any off the field incidents. And within one hour of each other, news trickled out about linebacker Damien Wilson’s arrest and Dak Prescott’s autograph-gate accusations.

One of the incidents is extremely minor, no one really knows what is happening with Prescott being accused of using a machine to sign items instead of actually signing memorabilia. And frankly, no one really cares. Its small potatoes and Prescott may have never known it was going on, if, in fact, it happened.

But the perception isn’t good. The all-around reputation of Dak Prescott has been great since he entered the league and it is just another “issue” to answer questions about. There won’t likely be any games missed or suspensions due to this infraction, which is what’s most important to the team.

However, the aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge against Damien Wilson is a much different story. These are very serious allegations and a suspension will result from the arrest, even if he is found not guilty, via the league’s personal conduct policy. Wilson was going to be battling for a starting spot as the strong-side linebacker and he was supposed to take the leap into a real player in his third season. Those plans took a major hit with the arrest on July 4th.

Last year Wilson’s impressive off-season was hampered by a paint ball incident just before camp opened and he never really recovered to produce as many expected. This is now back-to-back years where his boneheaded decision effects the Cowboys. And yes, playing paintball just before camp for an NFL player can be labeled as not the wisest decision ever made.

In fairness to the team, though, it was hard to see Wilson’s arrest coming. He wasn’t a player who had any red flags coming out of college and blaming the staff, which people love to do, is difficult this time around. It isn’t like Wilson has had a history of bad behavior, so what is the organization supposed to do to stop players from putting themselves in these positions?

It’s sad how the ‘off period’ before training camp for the Cowboys continues to bring such bad news each year. It shouldn’t be difficult to stay out of trouble and keep your head on straight. Wilson’s actions (if true) are heinous and he should have known better. It’s inexcusable for these things to happen year after year.

The Dallas Cowboys cannot seem to stay out of the wrong kind of news. Every year it’s the same kind of garbage that follows the team into training camp and we still don’t know the outcome of the Ezekiel Elliott investigation.

Cross your fingers Cowboys Nation, there is still two weeks plus until camp opens; apparently that’s plenty of time to get into more trouble. As the kids say, SMH.

You can chat with or follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi

Ben Grimaldi

Ben Grimaldi

Senior Analyst ProFootBallTalkLine.com at SportsTalkLine
Writer for ProFootBallTalkLine.Com. Associate sports producer. Lets talk sports! On Twitter @BenGrimaldi and Podcasting for STL!
Ben Grimaldi


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  • Ben Grimaldi

    I have an issue saying that Garrett is soft or is responsible for Wilson. He can’t be with these guys 24×7, tasking him with reminding players that hitting a woman with a car and brandishing a rifle is wron and it isn’t on him. At some point, common sense for these players have to set in…BTW, Wade had issues with character guys, so did Campo, Gailey and Parcells before him. Of course, we won’t get into what happened around Jimmy.

    • McShrek

      His approach is very soft as to how he goes about disciplining players (and i agree that at at the end of the day, the individuals involved are ultimately responsible for their behavior, why i have been harsh on Zeke’s incidents) which might be part of the pact of coexistence between him and the FO.

  • McShrek

    This is where i do have to agree with Mensa on Garrett’s leadership style…………..it is almost like he does not get much respect from the players on issues such as this……..yes our society has become way more tolerant of criminal/poor judgment activity in most areas, but if Ben had to write about this just recently, you know that they must be systemic issues……….maybe he shares the blame with the very top of the organization, since the owner/GM runs an atypical organizational chart that often tramples on his underlings, including his own son (Zach Martin vs Manziel) and his comments post the 2014 draft………….but my sense is that after many such episodes, he is no Shula, Lomabrdi or Belchick….or even a Tomlin or Coughlan.

    Zeke’s ongoing investigation is very unsettling since it remains open, obviously there is more there than has been divulged by the media or the league office….after all he might at some point become the face of the league’s highest profile team, if not the league itself………they are in a ticklish situation, because if something down the line escalates (Ray Rice comes to mind) they too would be blamed in the post mortems.

    JG’s personality is by its very nature, more communicator and praiseworthy of his players rather than an intimidator, (ala Jimmy or Parcells) one can easily determine that both have their pluses and minuses…………..this is a significant minus…………..

    • Lee1936

      Curious to know your opinion on something, Mr McShrek. You list a few coaches you think are clearly better than Garrett. That makes me wonder if you could start at the other end, and name those you rank as clearly below Garrett? Are there any in that category?

      • McShrek

        That would need researching, but any newbie coach has to be in that category….being a HC today is more about managing the entire operation versus coaching up players directly…..i am not a fan of Pete Carroll at all……..he bailed on USC when he knew there were major violations at the university, and he has been lucky to get with a personnel guy that knows what they are doing in Seattle, maybe lucky to have drafted R. Wilson at QB in the 3rd round, similar to our lucking into Dak last year? Andy Reed is top notch himself, vastly underrated IMO….dont have the 32 memorized, but clearly the guys in Cleveland (Jackson gets plenty of play in the media, but he was awful in Oaklnad) and Cincinatti are below JG……how has Lewis kept his job all of this time with great talent on the roster? He is probably way underpaid by NFL standards.

        • Taylor

          You’re really talking about Belichick vs everyone else. Carroll blew a SB, Quinn did it last season. The difference in dealing with player problems is that Belichick has a bigger carrot. Gronk has been a bit of a problem child, Hernandez actually killed people, but, then Moss became a solid citizen to win the ring. I don’t know if other teams have players as idiotic as Wilson has shown himself to be, but they all have issues. Young, spoiled athletes with money attract trouble like honey attracts flies. BTW, I will be interested to see how Belichick fares after Brady retires.

          • McShrek

            And then he got rid of Moss and often trades players that most organizations would never dream of, incluidng guys that were integral to his early rings….. think we already have a slice of what life will be without Brady, the year he took our own Matt Cassell and won like 11 games, JG won 4 games with the same QB………IMO had Romo been coached by BB, he would have won just as many rings, especially with the kinds of offensive lines he has had over the years….totally agree with your closing sentences, often wonder that had i been lucky enough to make millions at such a tender age, had i known how to ward off the hangers-on…..very tough to go from extreme poverty to extreme wealth.

    • hardwater

      Disagree completely that this has anything to do with JG. This is on the dumbass kid. It’s tempting and plausible to lay it at the feet of Jerry Jones and his top down organization but even at that from all accounts this was a clean kid coming out of college. I would guess that JG would love to run this kid out of town but remember, even Parcells could not get rid of TOwens. Yes, JG may have his faults but this kid’s stupid actions are not one of them.

      • McShrek

        You are entitled to disagree, but there is a significant pattern of off the field issues during JG’s reign, maybe it is a league wide problem that we do not pick up on because we dont follow other teams that closely………..Parcells got rid of himself over the TO signing, clear as day as to how that went down; JG’s personality is much more forgiving and that of working with young players to overcome their issues and develop their God-given talents……….the down side is that the enitre roster is apparently not too worried about first offenses; no enforcer in the house

        • hardwater

          JG’s problem is Jerry and the resulting lack of full authority that no coach has had since Jimmy left (even Parcell’s, who only came out of retirement for the big fat paycheck after his divorce). I believe JG has done as much as any coach could in improving the locker room culture as much as can be done under the circumstances. I have other gripes with JG but we should also realize he is very likely as good as we are going to get. We have suffered through worse. Much worse.

          Dak may lose a little luster off the shine but any loss will be quickly forgotten due to his polish and persona. And winning. Especially winning.

          • McShrek

            Agree wholeheartedly with your first paragraph, we will have to see about Dak’s sophomore season………if we win 10 games it will be a successful season due to the schedule and swiss cheese defense, as of now.

          • hardwater

            Yep, tougher schedule and a lot that went right last year. Anxious to see the youngsters in the secondary grow up fast. Bound to be some early growing pains.

  • hardwater

    I’m tired of this crap. Throw Wilson off the team. He’s obviously a dumbass.

    • Taylor

      I’m going to wait for details, but if he is convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, his status with the team will be the least of his problems. However, even putting himself in a position to be arrested superglues the dumbass label to his forehead. In other news, I don’t understand how the NFL is still investigating Zeke. I have 0 sympathy for abusers, but this has dragged on forever.

      • hardwater

        This kid (Wilson) is a dime a dozen in today’s NFL. For that matter so is DeMarcus Lawrence who has done jack squat. Time to start making examples out of these punks. Zeke is a whole other matter and not easily replaced. Agree the NFL has dragged his case out with little to go on and needs to wrap it up. Totally different than Damien the Dumbass.