Scuffling Pacman goes free in Dallas
Posted: Friday, October 10, 2008 5:52 pm
By: By STEPHEN HAWKINS, AP Sports Writer
IRVING, Texas (AP) — When the Dallas Cowboys acquired Adam “Pacman” Jones, team owner Jerry Jones knew there was little leeway to avoid trouble because of the cornerback’s past.
The Cowboys owner just never expected Adam Jones to get into a scuffle at an upscale downtown Dallas hotel with one of the bodyguards provided by the team.
“Candidly, it never occurred to any of us that he might have an incident that would be anywhere close to being public with an individual that was sitting there to keep that from happening,” Jerry Jones said Thursday.
The Cowboys don’t plan to discipline Adam Jones for the incident that occurred late Tuesday night after he attended a private party.
Police were called, but no charges were filed after the scuffle that Jerry Jones said was the result of some back-and-forth banter between the player and his bodyguard that got out of hand.
“These guys were joking, were kidding, having fun. It crossed over into more than that, and it ended quickly,” Jerry Jones said. “This was a personal thing and it was resolved in a personal manner.”
While the Cowboys expect Adam Jones to start Sunday’s games at Arizona, the NFL was conducting its own investigation and it was not clear if the league would take punitive action against the player.
The NFL’s investigation comes only six weeks after commissioner Roger Goodell fully reinstated Jones from a 17-month suspension, including the entire 2007 season, that followed a series of off-field problems. Without being specific, Goodell said Thursday in a radio interview that Jones knew what was expected of him.
Goodell and Jerry Jones both expressed disappointment about what had happened.
Adam Jones, who has started all five games for Dallas, wasn’t in the locker room Thursday when it was open to media members.
Later on the practice field, Jones seemed at ease joking with secondary coach Dave Campo and teammates during the 25 minutes reporters were allowed to watch.
Dallas police responded to a disturbance about 11 p.m. Tuesday at The Joule hotel.
Police said the incident was over by the time they arrived and that some hotel employees reported overhearing a scuffle in the men’s restroom in the lobby.
A small glass item on the vanity in the restroom was damaged.
Jones and his bodyguard, Tommy Jones, said everything was OK, and both were driven from the hotel by an acquaintance, police said.
The bodyguard told police he didn’t want to press charges and the hotel described the damage as minimal.
Jerry Jones said alcohol was served at the party, but witnesses said player’s “conduct should not be interpreted as over drinking.”
The Cowboys owner said he didn’t know when the NFL would conclude its investigation, but knew league officials “view it very seriously. Very seriously. I know firsthand they do because the commissioner was counting on me and he certainly is counting on me to really manage this.”
Goodell visited the Cowboys after practice Wednesday, a scheduled stop after speaking to business leaders in San Antonio earlier that day.
Jerry Jones knew then that there had been a disagreement between Adam Jones and his bodyguard, but didn’t know the extent of the melee until after the commissioner had left.
Jones called the incident an “aberration” and said Tommy Jones remained part of the team-provided security detail that is with the player at all times, including his home in the small rural community of Prosper north of Dallas.
The owner had recently reiterated his desire for Adam Jones to maintain a low profile off the field.
“Out where he lives where they have cows and cattle, if it happened out there, we wouldn’t be having this conversation,” Jerry Jones said.
Adam Jones was arrested six times and involved in 12 incidents requiring police intervention from the time the Tennessee Titans drafted him in the first round in 2005 and sent him to Dallas in April to complete a long-discussed trade.
“Before he joined the Cowboys, he built up a reservoir of doubt,” Jerry Jones said. “He had created with his actions no benefit of the doubt.”
Nose tackle Tank Johnson, who brought his own checkered past to Dallas, said the incident was overblown and that it wouldn’t distract the team.
“This is not that big of a deal,” Johnson said. “Nobody’s in jail, nobody’s in trouble, nobody’s hurt. We’re all here ready to practice, ready to work.”
An empty locker separates the cubicles of Jones and Johnson, who missed the first eight games last season while serving an NFL suspension for a series of off-field problems. Johnson doesn’t think Goodell will take any punitive action against the cornerback.
Tennessee got a fourth-round pick in the April draft, and a sixth-rounder next year for Jones. The Cowboys could get back a fifth-rounder in 2009 if Jones is punished again.
“That doesn’t affect us,” Titans coach Jeff Fisher said Thursday. “We’ve moved on and that’s their issue.”