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:
- 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?
- 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?
- 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!