But this weekend, for the Cowboys, there is no escape.
The domestic violence charges against rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott represent something that I have called "horrific'' no matter the truth, no matter the outcome. Some in Cowboys Nation have chided me, misinterpreting the word "horrific'' as meaning I believe Elliot is guilty. (In fact, the Cowboys seem comfortable with the character of their first-round pick, a fact that should calm some concerns.) But guilty or innocent, the allegations of physical abuse register as "horrific'' because the impact of a false allegation can, in its own way, be damaging just as real abuse is damaging.
That charge happened on Friday, Elliott's 21st birthday. And just as the Cowboys were working their way through that potential crisis (again, I choose my words carefully and "crisis'' is the right word when police, the NFL and the Cowboys themselves are all involved in investigating the matter) along comes an undeniable and inarguable tragedy: The traffic accident involving a Cowboys luxury bus and four lives lost when another vehicle crashed.
Our colleague Mickey Spagnola is part of the traveling party that and annually makes promotional stops between DFW and Oxnard on the way to training camp.
"Our foursome is physically well,'' Mickey tweeted after the crash in Arizona, and he is choosing his words carefully here, too: The Cowboys group is likely not mentally or emotional "well'' at this moment.
In recent days, the crime-and-punishment headlines from Dallas and from around the world, I have looked forward to training camp -- Thursday's arrival, Friday's State of the Union address from Jerry Jones and company, and Saturday's opening practice -- because I'd hoped it would provide us with some relief, some release, some escape.
But in this moment? An accident and an alleghation envelop Cowboys Nation. In this moment, it feels like there is no escape.null