Dallas Cowboys enabling culture plays big role in setbacks

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 01: Head coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys before a preseason game at AT&T Stadium on September 1, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 01: Head coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys before a preseason game at AT&T Stadium on September 1, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Dallas Cowboys fans are no strangers to offseason player casualties, and the hits keep coming under the team’s consequence free culture.

Every year Dallas Cowboys fans nervously sweat out the offseason hoping to reach training camp unscathed.

Like clockwork key players annually violate the law and/or league rules. The fallout leads to lost development time and/or missed games which weakens the team.

As reported, Damien Wilson was recently arrest for two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. That’s two second-degree felonies.

Defensive end is already damaged by two suspensions for failed drug tests. Randy Gregory is out for the season and David Irving will miss four games.

Then there’s Nolan Carroll‘s DWI arrest in late May to add to the drama.

Count ’em up Folks, that’s four defensive players who would’ve been heavy contributors during the 2017 season opener.

Carroll is the lone offender who reasonably can still avoid suspension.

Wilson’s charges could get dropped or reduced. Even so the NFL will likely levy a hefty suspension for breaking their code of conduct.


This destructive pattern is nothing new. In recent years the Cowboys have fostered an enabling culture and high tolerance for damaging ‘off the field’ behavior.

Last summer both Wilson (paintball) and Darren McFadden (pool party) had preventable accidents causing non-football related injuries.

Then there were the annual forced absences. Demarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory, and Rolando McClain were all benched by the NFL with suspensions.

All five of those players would’ve been solid early contributors. Instead they sold out their teammates by either losing development time or missing games.


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Players who run afoul may be punished by the courts and the league, but rarely by the Cowboys. Until selfish, repeat offenders are expelled, expect more of the same.

There are plenty of arguments against releasing bad actors. Suspended players don’t cost the team money. They’ll be useful pieces once they get back.

We hear the same excuses over and over. While true, they fail to take into account the damage caused by continuing to enable without consequences.

There are playoff implications every game the team is short-handed and easier to defeat. Be it Week 1 or Week 14, every loss counts in this league.

Also, when selfish behavior removes players during the summer, it prevents ample time and ability to replace them with equal value.

Player pickings are now slim. Whatever time Wilson sits out will hurt the defense.


I’m all for second chances. But this is the second straight summer Wilson’s selfish decisions will cost the team.

Gregory is already away from the facility and written off for 2017. Releasing him now would have no impact on the locker room.

Wilson is a different story as he was set to play a starting role next season. Now’s the right time to prepare for life without him.

Dallas should seek a worthy summer replacement regardless of Wilson’s outcome.

Wait and see how the police and NFL handle the situation. Once the suspension arrives like it should, cut bait and make an example.

Cutting Wilson is no financial burden and would save $615k on the salary cap. It also shows repeated reckless behavior hurting the team will not be tolerated.

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It would put Irving and Carroll on notice of what happens if they cross the line again.

There’s several reasons to hold onto Wilson. But until Dallas flexes a firm response to deter this destructive behavior, it’s destined to continue.