By the 2012 supplemental draft, the Cowboys were hurting for help after losing Laurent Robinson and his 11 touchdowns to free agency. Dallas had their eyes on Josh Gordon, out of Baylor, but aware of his history with drugs and suspensions, the Cowboys only felt comfortable using a 3rd round pick on him. The Cleveland Browns bid of a 2nd round pick was far too rich for their blood– the rest is history.
Upon entering the NFL, Gordon has now failed two drug tests (one which is being appealed) and recently was arrested for a DWI. Gordon most certainly will be facing a lengthy suspension by commissioner, Roger Goodell, prior to the start of the 2014 campaign.
Make no bones about it, the Cowboys have a history of flirting with some personalities at wide receiver– a history that has yielded its share of successes and failures. From the off-the-field concerns of Dez Bryant and Michael Irvin, to the on-the-field personalities of Terrell Owens, Terry Glenn, and Keyshawn Johnson, some big names have come in and produced for the Cowboys in recent past.
However, signing locker room personalities does not come without a cost. The Cowboys came to be know for locker room issues that culminated in a Jay Ratliff verbal altercation with owner, Jerry Jones, in 2012 and former defensive tackle, Jason Hatcher, publicly challenging the Cowboys team leadership.
Cowboy’s head coach, Jason Garrett, has stressed in recent seasons that it’s not about getting the most talented guys, it’s about getting the right kind of guys. Coaching and game management questions aside, Garrett and player leaders deserve credit for the maturation of the Cowboys most dynamic player, Dez Bryant. Bryant, once known for his suspension from Oklahoma St., his early money troubles, and domestic troubles involving his mother, now wants to be a leader– elevate his game and teach younger wideouts the ropes. Bryant has now turned himself into the right kind of guy.
Will character win games? It certainly wont lose them. Gordon’s antics will certainly cost the Cleveland Browns wins next season– who will they throw the ball to? The Cowboys have their troubles: questions at middle linebacker, a swiss-cheese secondary, and a quarterback coming off his second back surgery just to name a few. If the Cowboys maintain their focus on character, they will have one less trouble to worry about. One less worry is good enough for Jason Garrett and should be good enough for the fans.