For all his supposed talent and potential, Adam "Don't Call Me PacMan" Jones will find himself out of a job—again—come Feb. 9.
Dallas picked Jones up after he was released by the Titans following a yearlong suspension in 2007. Multiple run-ins with the law, most significantly a Las Vegas strip club incident that resulted in the manager of the club being shot and paralyzed, led commissioner Roger Goodell to suspend Jones for the entirety of the 2007 season for repeated violations of the league's personal conduct policy.
An appeal by the player's union on his behalf fell on deaf ears; Goodell remained "disappointed" in Jones, and stated that he would not be reinstated prior to the Super Bowl.
Tennessee made it clear that if he was reinstated, they would be looking to trade him. Dallas team owner Jerry Jones, always in the market for a player to be "rehabilitated"—think Terrell Owens—picked him up in the hopes of adding a spark to their defensive secondary and special teams.
Apparently, PacMan wasn't ready to grow up quite yet.
Roger Goodell was prepared to give Jones another chance to show he had changed. But in October 2008, Jones got into a drunken fistfight with one of his own bodyguards, the guys hired to protect him from himself. When Goodell got word, he suspended Jones indefinitely from the league.
I don't know what magic Jerry Jones worked, but he was somehow able to get Goodell to relent, and Adam was allowed back on the field in December.
They needn't have bothered.
Jones contributed very little to the Cowboys. Even with a shortened season, the numbers he put up didn't justify the money the Cowboys spent on him.
A total of 25 tackles, averaging just over four per game.
Zero sacks, zero interceptions, one forced fumble.
A total of 16 punt returns for 80 yards, averaging five yards per return.
With his repeated refusal to grow up, PacMan has all but ended his possibility of a football career. Whether it was the lure of fame, or a true inability to acquire the maturity necessary to live in the adult world, Jones will be hard-pressed to find another team willing to deal with his off-field problems.
What's sad is that he doesn't get what he needs to do. In an attempt to show the world he had changed, Jones decided in the summer of 2008 to drop the moniker he had held since childhood. He insisted that he be referred to as "Adam," or possibly "Mr. Jones."
This, he figured, would distance him from his troubles and allow him to start anew.
But a rose is a rose no matter what you call it.
And a juvenile miscreant is a juvenile miscreant whether you call him "Mister" or not.