We’ve received our first real update on Damien Wilson’s assault charges since the Cowboys linebacker was arrested on July 4th. Wilson faced two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon following an incident during the holiday.
Wilson was arrested after an argument with tailgaters during a July 4th event in Frisco, TX. Damien allegedly struck a woman with his vehicle, though without any reported injuries, and also flashed a firearm at one of her companions.
According to L.P. Phillips of CBS-DFW, Wilson’s charges have been “watered down” before going to any trial. He still faces a felony charge for using his vehicle as a weapon, but the gun charge has been reduced to a misdemeanor. This is what has been submitted for prosecution, but Phillips says a Grand Jury will still ultimately decide what charges to bring against Wilson.
It’s hard to predict how all of this will impact Wilson’s availability to the Cowboys. After taking over the SAM linebacker role last year, Damien was expected to remain a starter in 2017. He might even be need to play in the nickel scheme if things don’t go as hoped with Jaylon Smith.
The NFL doesn’t have to wait for the courts to act on Wilson under the Personal Conduct Policy. Roger Goodell could decide to indefinitely suspend Wilson until his trial ends and for any period after. However, the league could also decide not to touch him at all until the legal side has played out. Goodell’s inconsistent handling of player conduct issues makes it almost impossible to predict.
So, we remain in wait-and-see mode for now. Today is a little bit of good news for Damien Wilson, but there are still plenty of tough days and consequences ahead.