I’m not about to blame the Cowboys for pushing players toward substance abuse.
But, at the same time, I certainly can’t give them credit for creating a culture that steers them clear of it either.
Head coach Jason Garrett talks all the time about “the right kind of guys.” Often players arrive in Dallas with baggage in tow. And I know that all NFL teams have wayward players somewhere on their rosters.
But when both your starting defensive ends will begin the season serving suspensions, at some point you do wonder what’s going on at Valley Ranch. It’s not an uncommon occurrence.
In 2014 Orlando Scandrick missed two games for taking amphetamines. In 2015 it was Rolando McClain suspended for four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. And now both Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence will reportedly sit out until October for similar transgressions.
Not even gonna throw Greg Hardy’s name into the mix because – although he behaved bizarrely last year – his suspension was “earned” before he arrived. And Joseph Randle presented his own unique set of problems.
Nonetheless, that’s three years in a row the Cowboys will start the season without a key defensive starter (or two). No way around it, it’s a problem. This team might not be good enough with every player healthy and available. Take away personnel and 4-12 is quickly back into the equation.
Bottom line: The Cowboys aren’t good enough to be bad.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.