Cowboys Player Accused of Sexual Assault in 2000s by Massage Therapist in SI Report

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 21, 2021

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 30:  The Dallas Cowboys logo at AT&T Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

An unnamed Dallas Cowboys player from the late 2000s allegedly attempted to sexually assault a massage therapist during a private treatment session.

Jenny Vrentas, Greg Bishop and Gary Gramling of Sports Illustrated reported Friday the woman, who said similar allegations against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson in recent months caused her own "bad memories" to resurface, said the player first touched her ankle before becoming more aggressive.

"He tried to touch my vagina," she told SI.

The woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said she began crying as she quickly ended the treatment and rushed out of the room without her equipment, telling the player she didn't care if he paid her. She said the player told her, "Oh, you’re going to leave like that" and threw a box of tissues at her when she ended the session.

She told SI she decided not to pursue legal action against the player, either criminal or civil, because it would have been her word against his, and she didn't tell the NFL or the Cowboys about her experience because she feared losing other clients from the Dallas roster.

The woman, who has worked in the industry for 17 years, mainly with athletes, said her other Cowboys clients believed her story but that the player had told them she was "dramatic or exaggerating" what happened during the session, and he reached out through those teammates to restart their working relationship.

She told SI she reached an agreement to work with the player again but only in the team's common treatment area. That ended after the player started an argument in which he "disrespected" her in front of other clients, she said.

"This is my sad reality," the woman said. "I say this with tears: It would never be possible for me to come forward. Ever.

"I really hope that they take these women seriously, because it takes a lot of guts to come forward with something like that. I have never had the guts."

Watson is the subject of 22 civil lawsuits related to his alleged actions, including allegations of sexual assault, during massage sessions with women over the past year.