The Dallas Cowboys season did not start off so well last year. Tony Romo got hurt in the preseason versus the Seattle Seahawks and plenty wondered what would happen with a backfield that featured a rookie quarterback and running back. Well, rookie Ezekiel Elliott played very good all season and Dak Prescott made Cowboys fans forget about Romo and look forward to the future with Prescott. The Cowboys would make the playoffs but ultimately lose to the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional Playoff game at home. That season was unexpectedly great, but what was not unexpectedly good was the smudge marks left on the Cowboys image by players DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory. Both players were suspended last season for the violation of the substance abuse policy. As good as the Cowboys played, that image of the NFL's Bad Boys just cannot seem to go away. Going into this season, the Cowboys have already taken another image hit with the four-game suspension of defensive lineman David Irving for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. So after this recent history over the years, the Cowboys decided to make an example of another player that got into trouble and wide receiver Lucky Whitehead became that man.
Word got out this week that Whitehead was arrested on a shoplifting charge this week. When the Cowboys heard about this shoplifting of one of their players, they obviously were not happy and before any of the news was gathered and Whitehead was spoken to, his job was gone. The Cowboys released their returnman soon after hearing of his arrest, saying that an accumulation of things led to that. They can say all they want, but that arrest was the last straw and the Cowboys released him because of it. The message they wanted to let everyone know on their team that they were not going to take this type of embarrassment to their team anymore. They were tired of the misconduct off the field. But there was just one big issue that went along with the firing of Whitehead: he was not even there to begin with. The police actually had a case of mistaken identity, as the man that was arrested was not even Whitehead at all. The charges that were brought up against Whitehead were dropped. These charges may be dropped, but the damage has already been done., Whitehead is without a job. Sure, there was a possibility he could not have made it out of training camp this season, but to cut him without having all the information is something that sends a message Dallas did not want to be attached with.
The message, whether the Cowboys want to admit it or not, is to wait until the facts come out. Dallas was so sensitive to the information that came out that they acted out of impulse in regards to trying to get ahead of this arrest. But in acting out of impulse, the Cowboys forgot to do their homework. Notice that plenty teams throughout all sports have players get in trouble. Also pay attention to how those teams react. The first thing that comes out of both of their mouths usually talks about them still gathering all the facts. Yes, those simple facts are key. Maybe if Dallas would have taken a little time to actually look at them, then they would not look as bad as they did. Even a simple call to Whitehead and his agent would have cleared this one up, as both would have confirmed that Lucky was not in jail. But no, the Cowboys had to jump to conclusions and now they got themselves in this little mess. Now you got Jerry Jones saying "We make decisions in the best interest of the team" to try and cover for his team.
Many have been talking about Whitehead potentially having legal action he can take against the Cowboys. Honestly, I am not sure he even takes that route. But you better believe that other players are paying attention to things like this when they happen. It may not affect the fringe players but there is the potential of this decision being remembered by the bigger figures in the NFL. The Cowboys were trying to send a message to their team but instead the message they sent blew up in their faces. Maybe read about the case or actually talk to your player first next time because this does not make you all look good.