Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has a philosophy when it comes to players with off-field character concerns, and that philosophy is that he doesn’t care.
The Cowboys might take more chances on players with red flags than anyone in the league (though the Cincinnati Bengals compete really hard in that area). The Ezekiel Elliott drama – which in the last week has included a report of a possible NFL suspension, an alleged altercation in a bar and news that Elliott was appealing a misdemeanor conviction for driving 100 mph in the Dallas area – isn’t some crazy outlier for the Jerry Jones Cowboys. They’re used to this type of thing.
When Jones was asked about it Tuesday, his reaction was that Elliott just needs to be more aware of the attention on him.
“As you well know, because of his style and personality, it’s like a rock star wherever he goes in terms of attention,” Jones said, according to Rob Phillips of the team’s website. “Anybody that’s experienced that knows that takes getting used to. You have to learn many aspects of that. Certainly Zeke is evolving and being subject to needing to learn how to deal with the media and social media the way it is today.”
Nothing in there about Elliott making better decisions or maturing. No mention of accountability. Just to be aware that he needs to handle the attention that comes with his “rock star” status better.
“We want to continue educate ourselves as to how behavior, how it can be portrayed,” Jones said. “From the day I became involved with the NFL, I have had to continually address and learn what it’s like to have your every word possibly played back to you in a very public way.”
While most of Elliott’s actions that have gotten him on the NFL’s radar aren’t of the very serious variety, it’s probably a little more than a “rock star” in Dallas getting a bum rap. These are actions that, at least from one report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter last week, could lead to a short NFL suspension. It’s a pattern of behavior that, according to Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson’s reporting, has some individuals inside the franchise “irritated.”
This is just Jones’ modus operandi as owner. Most teams would at least go through the motions of admonishing a player for putting himself in a position that he might be suspended. That just isn’t the Cowboys’ way.
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