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July 25, 2017

The Dallas Cowboys: From America’s Team to America’s Most Wanted

The National Football League is once again at the center of the nation’s sporting consciousness as training camps open across the country.

And, as always, you can count on the Dallas Cowboys to provide enough storylines to fill an HBO series.

If it weren’t for the dragons, Game of Thrones wouldn’t have much on the Cowboys. And if the Law & Order franchise, ever needed some new material, Law & Order: Dallas Cowboys would be must-see TV.

There would be nothing better than a courtroom shot of owner Jerry Jones embarrassingly defending his players to the judge and jury. Nothing better than a lineup of suspects like Ezekiel Elliott, Joseph Randle, Damien Wilson, Randy Gregory, David Irving, or whoever may have been added to this list by the time you read it.

Mind you, the Cowboys are hardly alone in this parade of problem children, but they just seem to do it with more flamboyance. You might think some of the problems are stuff you just can’t make up – but it appears that to a certain extent, they really do just make ’em up.

Take for example the latest bit of Cowboys folly. The inappropriately named Lucky Whitehead was dismissed from the team on Tuesday following a bizarre set of circumstances in which he was charged with shoplifting at a WaWa in Virginia.

But Not-So-Lucky provided evidence that he wasn’t even in the same state as the store at the time of the incident. It was truly a case of mistaken identity.

However, Lucky Whitehead is not a star player, and he doesn’t really count for much in the Cowboys plans to take over the NFL this season. The end result is that after time-and-again being embarrassed by the actions of one of their players, the Cowboys decided to take a stand against Lucky Whitehead.

On the one hand, you can sort of understand why the Cowboys had seen enough of Whitehead, who showed up late for a practice session last year and is very active on social media – where he recently used Snapchat to report on his dog, Blitz, who was supposedly kidnapped and held for ransom.

To a certain extent, it is a wheel of fame and fortune that goes 'round and 'round the universe of professional sports day after day, week after week, season after season. But it is amazing how many times that wheel lands on the Cowboy star.

If you believe Whitehead’s account the kidnappers contacted him and demanded a $10,000 check.

Right. Not cash. A check.

Does this make any sense? Well, maybe in a Cowboy world it makes perfect sense.

But gosh darn it, the Cowboys and Jones had enough of this stuff. Forget the claims of abuse, DWI and whatever else other players on their roster have been accused of, this was the last straw, and Lucky Whitehead was going to pay the price.

In other words, he was not worth the minor headache.

On the other hand, Ezekiel Elliott, who is still being investigated by the NFL for an alleged abuse incident last year, was worth the time and effort for Jones to come front and center and throw the confidence of the team behind their star running back.

It’s just a matter of talent, and Elliott has talent worth keeping. It doesn’t matter than while he was fending off the abuse allegations there was a prank at a parade that led to some embarrassment, a 100-MPH speeding ticket and a recent spat at a nightclub where a local DJ got his nose busted at an event where Elliott was partying (TMZ had video of the star at least near the altercation).


Suddenly the DJ can’t be found, the tape is inconclusive and Jerry Jones is warming up for his Hall of Fame induction speech by getting on a soap box and defending Elliott while moaning about the hardship of being such a public figure as a star player for the Cowboys.

To a certain extent, it is a wheel of fame and fortune that goes 'round and 'round the universe of professional sports day after day, week after week, season after season. But it is amazing how many times that wheel lands on the Cowboy star.

It is dangerous for any team even look sideways at another organization before taking a close inspection of its own locker room. Whether it’s the Eagles, the New York Giants, or any team in any sport, there is a culture of the spoiled athlete that can make you wonder why fans line up to buy their jerseys.

Then again, this stuff happens so often with the Cowboys that you have to shake your head and wonder why America’s Team is so ready to make itself America’s Most Wanted team.

It’s not like they’ve actually won anything in recent years, and it has come to the point where the NFL should take Jerry Jones aside at his Hall of Fame induction and let him know that his 'Boys aren’t good enough to be a weekly embarrassment and that he has to get his locker room in order.

Then again, it’s not like they did anything as ghastly as letting a few pounds of air out of a football or anything. After all, if you’re the NFL, you need to have your priorities.