The Ghost of Jimmy Johnson

When the Cowboys moved from Valley Ranch into The Star they may have accidentally brought the ghost of Jimmy Johnson with them when they packed Garrett’s office.

With the recent release of Lucky Whitehead from the team today, you have to wonder if Jason Garrett is starting to pay more attention to what the media has to say and not enough on the pulse of the team. I’m not going to stand here and say that this situation is not a big deal but it’s not as big as the DUI that Nolan Carroll received in May or the  Aggravated Assault w/ Deadly Weapon that Damien Wilson was charged with on the  (insert any Jason Pierre-Paul joke) fourth of July holiday.

In the infamous words of Desi Arnaz “Jason!! You Got Some Explaining to Do”. So far the Cowboys story this offseason and almost every offseason has been to let the justice system play out before passing judgement and with the release of Whitehead it seems a 360 degree turn or maybe a 180 from the past (where the past is less than ninety days) but you get the gist. Somewhere in the Florida Keys, Jimmy Johnson must be smoking a stogie, smiling and thinking “The young padawan has finally learned” but the reality is that Garrett’s probably three years too late with the discipline stick.

Everyone remembers the stories of Jimmy Johnson and his ginsu cutting techniques for small infractions but this move reeks of bowing to the media pressure of having to make a statement. Lately, the media have been holding the organization to task for the perception of lawlessness in the Cowboys locker room. If I had the ability to ask Jason Garrett three questions and most likely by the time this is posted they will have been asked, they would be:

  1. Does the team have a crime chart that is similar to the draft trade value chart that determines the discipline leveled to players for committing crimes or team infractions?
  2. If so, where on your crime/team infraction chart does aggravated assault w/ a deadly weapon or DUI rank compared to shoplifting and (unproven) petty larceny?
  3. Was this your decision or Jerry’s?

These questions may sound a bit facetious but they most likely have crossed through the minds of die-hard Cowboys fans who have had to put up with the memes and recent video spoofs of Jerry Jones at a press conference signing OJ Simpson. The material is actually funny but hard to stomach on a weekly basis and that’s considering the damn season hasn’t even started. Garrett seemed out of character at the press conference when he announced that the team could look at cutting Whitehead. Garrett is the master of “talking loud but saying nothing” and his stern statement surprised me and most likely won’t be the last public display of emotion we see this season. In a lot of sportswriters minds, this could be the year the Cowboys make a deep playoff run and the same pundits are even predicting a Super Bowl appearance but this team has enough questions about its roster without having to deal with players missing games due to legal problems. Whitehead’s agent has come out with proof that he wasn’t in Virginia at the time of the crime but maybe Garrett already had his mind made up and this was the tipping point.

As this continues to play out in the media, I’m sure what will be lost in the conversation is the disparity of draft positions of the two players. Damien Wilson was a fourth round pick in the 2015 draft and Whitehead was an un-drafted free agent pick-up the same year. Once the Cowboys drafted Ryan Switzer and Noah Brown there were immediate questions about Whiteheads spot on the roster. With the Cowboys jumping the gun on his release it may not have the effect that Garrett may be hoping for, especially if it’s a case of mistaken identity.

 

So Mote It Be!

Cowboys Tarnished Star

Tarnished Star?

The start of training camp is seventeen days away and the sports world is drooling at the prospect of the NFL season being around the corner. We’ve made it through the draft, OTA’s and minicamps and in seventeen days the sounds of pads colliding will start the shaping of the 2017-18 Dallas Cowboys team. Much to the chagrin of the CowboysNation.com management, I tend to go into my shell during the offseason. I’m not a big college football fan, although my favorite team is The Fighting Irish, my ADHD makes it hard to follow. In my mind it’s easier to skip the NFL Combine aka “The Underwear Olympics” and go straight to the draft which I would rate a B- due to the lack of foresight of possible future roster issues. I felt that the team was shortsighted in not addressing the linebacker room in the draft and this past Fourth of July holiday an issue arose with a player that was stamped by coaches and management to be a key contributor.

If  you’re a Cowboys fanatic like I am, I get alerts to my phone for anything Cowboys related, and I was awoken on Friday morning by an article on Yahoo Sports titled: “Wilson’s Aggravated Assault Charge Latest in Mounting Personnel Issues for Cowboys”. The article discusses the many Cowboys transgressions during the offseason from Nolan Carroll to David Irving as well as  rookie Jourdan Lewis who came to the team with a pending July trial date for domestic violence charges. To throw a dagger into my heart, Elliott’s domestic violence investigation is discussed. I’m not here to give any excuses for the behaviors of players but let’s not lump everyone’s situation into one big pot or question the teams commitment to having a drama free football team.

David Irving is suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the leagues policy on performing enhancing drugs. I understand that players should know what they put in their bodies. It’s been reported that the PED that was in his system is from a company that signed him to promote their products and I hope they reimburse him the money he’ll lose during his absence (highly unlikely). This transgression does not mean that Jason Garrett is not a  disciplinarian or that management is more concerned with talent rather than character. I’m under the belief that this is an honest mistake that the team could not control. If fans and media expect the team to monitor players lives to the point of what they put in their bodies, what has the NFL come to? I’m sure that the NFLPA has a do/don’t list of what the players can take so this falls on Irving’s shoulders and I’m sure he would say the same thing.

Nolan Carroll should have known better to drink and drive and in the world of Uber and Lyft there is no excuse. Carroll has taken personal responsibility for his actions and the league will most likely be suspending him in the near future. The team has enough cornerbacks on the roster to circumvent his loss and he might not have a big part in this season if one of the rookie cornerbacks perform during his absence. When he arrived in Dallas he was signed as a starter but his salary isn’t enormous to the point that he has to play.

The Ezekiel Elliott saga is rumored to be coming to an end in the near future. The NFL continues to do its due diligence in his case and I can see this coming to an end no later than the third preseason game of the season. In my opinion the only reason that Alfred Morris is still on the team is because of Elliott’s legal issues. In recent interviews and comments, it seems that the light bulb has finally come on and everyone can hope that the only thing Elliott will be catching is screen passes instead of cases.

All of these cases are issues that the team has addressed and I would bet a large coke slurpee that Garrett continuously preaches personal responsibility and not squandering an opportunity for one poor decision. With the recent arrest of linebacker Damien Wilson for two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon the team is taking the “gathering more information” stance and there are people that feel that Garrett should make an example of Wilson and cut him. Over the years the Cowboys have shown patience with players who step outside of the law and to be honest with you there is no need to read the list of names. The team doesn’t benefit by making decisions about the players status on the team before the court system and I’m certain the team will wait to see how it works out. I’m sure we will see Wilson at training camp and during the preseason while this plays out in the media and court. I’m not worried if Wilson can be replaced on the field because we have Anthony Hitchens, this teams Swiss army knife.

One of the reasons that I am a Jerry Jones apologist is during his ownership, he’s never turned his back on his players. Some people may feel that is because Jerry values the talent over Garrett’s RKOG (Right Kind of Guy) mantra and that might be true but at least he’s been consistent. For every Randy Gregory and Rolando McClain there is a Michael Irvin and Dez Bryant. There is also a Dimitrius Underwood and Alonzo Spellman, two players that the Cowboys gave an opportunity to get their lives together after being diagnosed with mental disorders.

As Jones gets ready to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, these stories should be told as well as how he affected the NFL with his shrewd business moves in advertising and challenging the NFL norm.

So Mote it be