As news broke of a domestic violence accusation against Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott this weekend, the hatred and judgement started to flow.
Of course, some judgement and disgust can come with good reason. We all understand (or at least we should) how serious and malicious any form of domestic violence is. And with the recent incidents involving NFL players, it was right for all of us to take pause and wonder how bad this may have been.
The judgement and hatred I am referring to, however, is against the Dallas Cowboys as an organization, not against an individual player.
Dallas has a history of, let's say, misconduct around their team. Since the day Jerry Jones purchased the Cowboys he and this team have been involved in a constant media circus. From the handling of Tom Landry's termination, to the handling of the Jimmy Johnson situation, to the party-loving, mischievous, and sometimes criminal Cowboys of the early 1990's, to recent failed (and successful) experiments with players of so-called questionable character, the Cowboys have had their fair share of drama.
It's all been there, and there is no way to deny it.
However as the Cowboys sit today with three projected defensive starters suspended for a significant portion of the upcoming season, I actually believe they are being portrayed unfairly by the masses and the national media. In particular, the reactions to these suspensions and the trickle down effect of these same reactions have been overblown comparatively to other teams.
As each announcement of a Cowboys suspension, or of a former Cowboys player's personal problem is made, so are proclamations about Jason Garrett's ability to lead, Jerry Jones' ability to be a decent human being, and the Cowboys organizations' ability to be a well-run franchise. Let the national media tell it the Cowboys are a team full of bad locker room guys, criminals, and degenerates who Garrett has absolutely no control over.
That's the narrative of the Cowboys: Degenerates. That's the narrative of their head coach: Weak. And that's the narrative of their owner: Incompetent.
Yet while the Cowboys are portrayed as a once-great organization who has fallen from it's grace, another historically important franchise's "moral" standards have been left unquestioned; the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Cowboys and the Steelers are linked forever in football lore, yet the perceptions of the two in 2016 couldn't be further apart.
And to be honest, these perceptions are bogus.
Yes, Dallas will be without Randy Gregory and Rolando McClain for some time for testing positive for marijuana and will be without DeMarcus Lawrence for four games due to a positive test for amphetamines. None of that is good, and none of that shines a positive light onto the Cowboys as an organization.
But as the league announced this weekend, Steelers running back Le'veon Bell will miss the first four games of this season for not showing up to a drug test. Why does a missed drug test equate to a four game suspension? Well, because Bell was already in the league's drug program, and is now seen as a repeated offender.
Bell is not the only offensive weapon for the Steelers who will miss time, however, as wide receiver Martavis Bryant will miss the entire 2016 season due to repeated failed drug tests for marijuana.
Now, I have always questioned how the NFL drug policy is constructed, and how the tests are received and dealt with by the league and the public, but that doesn't change the fact that the rules are still in place. And if they're in place, a first class organization like the Steelers should follow them, right?
Two players, one of them a top running back in the entire NFL, are suspended after failing (or missing) multiple drug tests, yet no one has questioned the manhood of their head coach, or the competence of their owner. Not one person has called Mike Tomlin a puppet, accusing the Rooney family of pulling his strings.
And they shouldn't. Tomlin is a top-notch coach in this league, and the Rooney's deserve to be respected no matter how many drug tests some of their players fail. But neither should the Cowboys. Jerry Jones will be a Pro Football Hall of Famer one day, and Jason Garrett has proven that he is the right coach for this football team no matter what the 2015 record showed.
The Cowboys are not run poorly, Jason Garrett is not merely Jerry Jones' puppet, and I am sick of the narratives which get used time and time again about this team. And if I sound like a bitter Cowboys fan, that's probably because I am.
BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb
According to multiple sources, the Dallas Cowboys have signed former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb to a one-year deal to help bolster their depth at the WR position and potentially become Cole Beasley's replacement.
Cowboys are giving former Packers' WR Randall Cobb a one-year, $5 million deal, per source. https://t.co/8KWFPjSP8T
The Dallas Cowboys met with Randall Cobb earlier this week, but he eventually left Dallas without a contract. He must've had a change of heart or just needed time to ponder the Cowboys offer, but regardless of what transpired in that short time he is now part of America's Team.
During his time with the Packers, Cobb accumulated 470 receptions for 5,524 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. The eight-year veteran will now be expected to replace some of Cole Beasley's production out of the slot for the Dallas Cowboys.
After years of watching Beasley as the Cowboys slot WR, it will be really interesting to see Randall Cobb in that role. He's not as quick twitched as No. 11, but can be just as dangerous due to his ability to be more of a down the field receiver. He also brings added value in the return game and could compete with Tavon Austin to become the return specialist.
This could mean the Cowboys forgo drafting a wide receiver early in the 2019 NFL Draft, but I wouldn't put it past them. Regardless of what happens, this is an excellent addition.
Welcome to Cowboys Nation Randall Cobb!
REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur
L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.
Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.
The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark... https://t.co/2iDsi6RX7e
Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.
Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.
Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.
REPORT: Cowboys Negotiating Trade with Dolphins for DE Robert Quinn
According to a report just minutes ago, the Dallas Cowboys are visiting with Miami Dolphins' Defensive End Robert Quinn today as part of a possible trade. Miami is looking for a trade partner to try to get something back for Quinn before making him a salary cap casualty.
Quinn is in the final year of his contract and is set to count $12.9 million against the Dolphins' salary cap. Most of that is his base salary of $11.8 million, which Miami is reportedly willing to pay part of to help facilitate a trade.
Robert Quinn was spotted today on his way to visit the #Cowboys, who are in trade talks with the #Dolphins for the veteran DE, sources say. Quinn would need to agree to any deal. So, this is another step in the process, with a Dallas team that obviously needs pass rush.
The Cowboys need DE help with DeMarcus Lawrence's contract still unresolved and Randy Gregory now indefinitely suspended for another drug policy violation. They signed Kerry Hyder from the Lions yesterday, but he isn't a proven commodity like Quinn.
Turning 29 in May, Robert Quinn is a two-time Pro Bowler and former first-round pick of the Rams. He hasn't had the same production in recent years but still had 6.5 sacks for Miami in 2018 and 8.5 the prior year with Los Angeles.
Ever the bargain shoppers these days, Dallas is probably hoping to get Quinn for late-round draft pick or perhaps a pick swap.
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