July 07, 2017
Earlier in the week, ESPN's Adam Schefter hinted that league discipline could be coming Dallas Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott's way, stemming from a slew of off-the-field nonsense, most notably a domestic abuse case that the NFL has been investigating for almost a year.
Since then, two more projected Cowboys starters are in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.
The first is linebacker Damien Wilson, who is more of a "starter" than a starter. He was arrested Tuesday night at a fireworks show. Details via Todd Archer of ESPN:
Wilson was arrested Tuesday night and charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after he allegedly backed his car into a woman and then brandished a rifle, according to Frisco, Texas, police.
According to the police report, the 24-year-old Wilson was arrested after he "intentionally backed his truck into a female while parking" at Toyota Stadium during Frisco's Freedom Fest. He then "brandished a rifle at another male, causing him to be in fear."
Wilson reportedly got a lot of work with the Cowboys' first-team offense as the team's third linebacker behind Sean Lee and Anthony Hitchens. He's a starter in a traditional 4-3 defense, although most teams spend more time in sub-packages that keep the third linebacker on the sidelines.
In 2016, Wilson played 284 snaps on defense (plus an additional 340 snaps on special teams), playing in all 16 games and starting six. His role was expected to increase with the departure of Justin Durant.
If Wilson is unavailable to play this season, the Cowboys might feel the need to rush second-year pro Jaylon Smith onto the field. Smith was at one time an elite prospect coming out of Notre Dame, but he suffered a torn ACL and MCL in his final game in college. Worse, Smith suffered nerve damage, which is a far more serious an issue. He went from a projected top five overall pick to being taken surprisingly highly in the second round by Dallas. He sat out the entirety of the 2016 season, but has participated in practice during OTA and minicamp sessions so far in 2017.
The other Cowboys player in some (less serious) trouble is quarterback Dak Prescott. According to a report from ESPN's Darren Rovell, Prescott "is being accused of using a machine to sign his autograph for a memorabilia company instead of signing by hand."
While Prescott won't do any hard time for something like that, it's not exactly a great look. Apparently, NFC East quarterback memorabilia shenanigans are an epidemic, as Giants quarterback Eli Manning was accused of being part of a fraudulent Giants memorabilia scheme this offseason as well.
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