Aaron Hernandez’ Saga: A Warning To The Dallas Cowboys


On April 15, 2015 former New England Patriots tight end, Aaron Hernandez was sentenced to life in prison for murder. Once a budding star on one of the NFL’s most respected franchises, Hernandez has thrown away millions of dollars and the opportunity to live the life most American men dream of.

Hernandez had a history of criminal behavior but the Patriots turned a blind eye because of his talents. With the recent signing of defensive end Greg Hardy, should the Dallas Cowboys view this tragic saga as a cautionary tale?

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The Cowboys have a number of players on their roster with a criminal history. Defensive tackle Josh Brent , running back Joseph Randle , middle Linebacker Rolando McClain , wide receiver Dez Bryant and of course newly acquired Hardy all have criminal histories.

Which leads us back to the case of Aaron Hernandez. Like the players above, Hernandez has a history of questionable and criminal behavior.

In 2007, while in college at Florida, Hernandez was questioned about an alleged shooting. Further character concerns caused him to fall to fifth round of the NFL Draft despite being rated as one of the best players on the board.

In 2012 Hernandez was arrested for a double homicide for which he was convicted.  He is now serving a life sentence.

In addition, in 2013 a man accusing Hernandez of shooting him in the eye filed a civil suit against him. And the former tight end will stand trial for a double murder also committed in 2012. As with the Cowboys’ players mentioned earlier, Hernandez had a troubled history prior to his murder conviction but the Patriots gambled on his talent.

Patriots’ owner Robert Craft was fully aware of Hernandez’ character issues just as Cowboys’ owner and general manager Jerry Jones is aware of the his players’ background. In the end, Craft was burned by the troubled tight end, saying that young man broke his trust.

One must wonder why Craft would be willing to give his trust to a person with a background as questionable as Hernandez’ to begin with. Isn’t it also fair to question Jones’ willingness to build his team around untrustworthy players?

Dallas is going to rely on numerous players with criminal histories to be key contributors next season. Past sins are not always predictors of future actions. But after seeing the Aaron Hernandez saga play out, it is reasonable to wonder if the Cowboys are setting the organization up to be burned by players that have already proven to possess poor judgment.

Jones has gambled on troubled players in the past (Terrell Owens, Tank Johnson, Charles Haley, Alonzo Spellman and Leon Lett just to name a few) and his success rate is about fifty percent.

However, Jones is walking a dangerous path by loading his team with so many troubled players. The more risks he takes, the higher the likelihood becomes that one will cause him embarrassment similar to that suffered by Craft.

The concern of Cowboys’ fans is that the success of the 2014 season is causing Jerry Jones to revert to his old ways of going for broke by ignoring the character flaws of the players the Cowboys put on the field. But is that a wise formula? The Cowboy’s past suggests it might not be the best way to go.

Next: Predicting The Dallas Cowboys 2015 Schedule