It turns out that the release of Adam Jones last night was not just another ho-hum personnel move involving a nuisance player. There's a brand new legal situation that Dallas wants no part of.
When the news broke late yesterday, it seemed like the Cowboys' decision to cut "Pacman" Jones was a sudden, but inevitable conclusion to his time in Dallas. Even though owner Jerry Jones had defended him multiple times and insisted he wasn't going anywhere, no one could be that shocked by their decision to cut ties. (Especially after a season with zero interceptions and a fight with his own bodyguard.) But then ESPN started bragging about their role in uncovering a new, much more serious accusation and was more than happy to take credit for the move.
Reporter John Barr was preparing a story for Sunday's edition of "Outside the Lines," alleging that Adam was under investigation for "ordering" the shooting of three men, following an altercation at a strip club. This happened in June 2007, after he had already been suspended a full year for a completely separate strip club shooting incident. Barr waited until Wednesday to call the NFL, the Cowboys, and Jones' agent for comment, and claims that they knew about the investigation, but that he provided them new details that they were not aware of. Hours later, Jones was gone.
ESPN is still being coy until the full report airs on Sunday, but they are perfectly happy to talk about their role in uncovering the story. As for Jones? He had no comment beyond threatening a lawsuit against ESPN yesterday. But ... I don't see how Roger Goodell ever lets him play in the NFL again. Even if he's not charged by police—which is likely since evidence is scant and no one was hurt—simply being mentioned in a situation like that after already being suspended for a similar incident probably does not jibe well with whatever conduct of code he was living under.
Pacman out as 2007 shooting surfaces [ESPN]
Adam Jones - ex-Dallas Cowboy - wasn't worth the trouble [Dallas Morning News]