Roger Goodell Shouldn't Give Pacman Jones Second Chance This Year

Alex MarvezCorrespondent INovember 8, 2016

An already embarrassing week for the NFL is only getting worse.
We've had the $100-million officiating mistake. A star quarterback who doesn't know the overtime rules. An accusation that the doctor heading the NFL's drug-testing program didn't tell players that a league-approved supplement would cause a positive steroid test.

And now, Adam "Pacman" Jones is coming back.

What's next—a 35-year anniversary celebration of O.J. Simpson's 2,000-yard rushing season?

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones announced Wednesday that his delinquent cornerback will return starting with a Dec. 7 game at Pittsburgh. The franchise and some of its fans are assuredly thrilled at receiving help for their shaky secondary.

The rest of us want to take a shower.

While a few of his peers have committed worse transgressions, Jones is the public face of abhorrent behavior among active players. Six arrests and 13 scrapes with the law—combined with a sickening lack of remorse along the way—will do that.

With such an extensive police record, Jones would struggle to get more than a minimum-wage job in the real world. He might even be in prison. But this is the NFL, where physical talent will get you chance after chance to become a millionaire.

Are we to really believe that anything will change after a quickie alcohol-rehabilitation program and six-game suspension? Jones couldn't get his act together even after being barred for the entire 2007 campaign. Jones squandered more chances than all the interceptions dropped earlier this season when he did play.

Quite frankly, I'm stunned that a commissioner who cares as much about the NFL's image as Roger Goodell would leave the league and himself open for more ridicule. He should have let Jones sit for the rest of the season, which would have reemphasized Goodell's mantra that playing in the NFL is a privilege and not a right.

Instead, this is just wrong.

Jerry Jones also deserves some of the blame. He was the enabler who thought surrounding Adam Jones with bodyguards would help him stay on the straight and narrow. But as usual, trouble followed this Pacman closer than Blinky, Inky, Pinky and Clyde.

Come to think of it, those are great nicknames for the security team that engaged in the alcohol-fueled brawl with Adam Jones that led to this current suspension.

After the Cowboys were trounced by the New York Giants 17 days ago, Jerry Jones was asked whether he regretted acquiring Pacman. His response is what you'd expect from an owner who turned a blind eye to his team's off-field shenanigans in the 1990s: "Not at all."

"Adam was playing at a very high level when we lost him and has been missed on the field," Jerry Jones said. "I do regret the embarrassment that has been involved with him. But frankly, I had that measured and knew that was part of the risk."

Maybe this story will have a happy ending. Maybe this latest suspension will truly put Adam Jones on the right track. Maybe the bodyguards that Jerry Jones says he will no longer provide aren't needed to keep Pacman out of bars and nightclubs.

I just don't see it.

In the meantime, Adam Jones will continue to draw attention away from some of the NFL's feel-good stories. One of them is Tennessee's quest for a perfect season.

But here's something to ponder: The Titans (10-0) haven't lost since trading Pacman to Dallas in April. I'm not saying that's the main reason Tennessee is faring so well. Still, it surely helps that Titans players and coaches no longer have to deal with all the distractions and negativity that Jones brought into their locker room.

That's now Dallas' problem. And if Adam Jones screws up again, the Cowboys and NFL only have themselves to blame for the fallout.

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