Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pacman Jones and the Dallas Cowboys

It's no secret that suspended Tennessee Titans cornerback Pacman Jones is making a big push to become a Dallas Cowboys cornerback and he has enlisted some prominent former Cowboys -- Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders, among them -- to be his advocates.

I think all this talk is a glaring example of putting the cart before the horse because it involves one major assumption, which is that Pacman will be allowed to play for any NFL team ever again. I'm not sure that is going to happen.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is staking his reputation as a law-and-order commissioner. That became quite clear last April when he issued his NFL Personal Conduct Policy edict. That same month Goodell suspended Jones for the 2007 season with no guarantees what he would be reinstated for the 2008 season or beyond. Last month, ESPN reported Goodell "remains disappointed" in Jones' behavior. That does not bode well for his immediate reinstatement either.

Dallas has a national reputation in certain circles because of its strip clubs. Ask someone at the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau off the record why most conventions choose Dallas and you'll be told it's because of its strip clubs. Jones is swearing he'll stay away from strip clubs, yet he is yearning to play for the team located in strip club nirvana. I'm sure Goodell is going to consider that in his decision along with the fact that, although he also promised Goodell he would stay away from strip clubs, charges were filed against Jones on Jan. 15 alleging he hit a woman at a strip club in Atlanta, Ga., on Jan. 3. Even thought the woman in question, Wanda S. Jackson, has since dropped the charges, the allegations, alone, are going to weigh on Goodell's decision.

Jones pleaded guilty to reduced charges stemming from the Feb. 19, 2007 shooting incident in Las Vegas and received only a one-year prison sentence, which was suspended. Yet, there is still a bad stench associated with the incident, so much so that Goodell has ordered his own investigation. This much is known: Jones and rap artist Nelly engaged in an activity known as "making it rain." The way I understand it, this involves showering exotic dancers with dollar bills during their act. According to the club's co-owner, Nelly and Jones tossed hundreds of one-dollar bills on the stage. Chris Mitchell, one of the club's promoters, told the dancers to start collecting the dollar bills. This allegedly incensed Jones who said the women did not have his permission to take the money. According to witnesses, Jones grabbed one dancer by her hair and slammed her head against the stage. A security guard jumped into the fray that by now included at least a half dozen other members of Jones' entourage. Jones and his group left the club, but one of them returned with a gun in his hand and opened fire, hitting the security guard and former professional wrestler Tommy Urbanski, who was paralyzed from the waist down as a result of the shooting. Jones has claimed he did not know the shooter, but, still, it was Jones who precipitated the actions that resulted in one person becoming a paraplegic. It also should be noted that the owner of the club claims he has a video of the entire incident and it proves Jones was far more involved in the actual shooting than he has claimed. I am sure that at some point Goodell will watch this video.

There's also the wiretapped phone conversations involving drug dealer Darryl Moore in which Moore allegedly talked about how Jones bet heavily on college football games in order to get money to purchase drugs.

Personally, I don't see Goodell reinstating Jones for the 2008 season, especially after the hammers have come down on Michael Vick and Bill Belichick. As a result, all this talk about Jones wearing the silver and blue of the Dallas Cowboys seem extremely premature.

No comments: