Can Carson Recover?

For a player that recorded just 21 tackles in only a half season of action last year, much to do is being made about the incarceration of Leo Carson. <BR><BR> <i>Why is it such a big deal?</i> Because the Cowboys actually think this guy has some potential.

Leo Carson is in jail. I repeat, Leo Carson is in jail.

Sounds rather harsh doesn't it?

Sure it does, but that's how it goes for one of the up and coming and defensive tackles on the Cowboys roster headed into the heart of summer.

Carson will spend the next 30 days in a Mobile, Alabama jail for what was termed as "felony charges of kidnapping and burglary" from an incident that occurred last August.

To make a long story short, he pleaded guilty to lesser charges, and that resulted in the judge ordering him to serve 30 days in jail.

The good news is that Carson will be able to start training camp in Oxnard, California on time. The bad news is, of course, he'll be in jail for a majority of the time between now and then.

Why is all of this important you ask? Because the Cowboys' organization thought extremely highly of his abilities.

Looking back to last year, Carson recorded 21 tackles and 1.5 sacks on the season. He suffered a torn triceps muscle in with just three weeks left remaining, but expectations were high heading into the start of training camp in late July.

His offseason workouts had gone according to plan, and sources close to the Cowboys suggest he was a player that was going to be looked to for extensive playing time in 2004.

In fact, Leonardo Carson saw extensive action during mini-camp last week as head Bill Parcells wanted to see what he could do potentially playing along side of La'Roi Glover as a nose guard.

He didn't disappoint.

"He's a guy that could do a number of different things for us as far as positions go. He could be a back up guy in a rotation, or he could end up playing much more than that," said Parcells. "It just depends."

And keep in mind those comments came when Carson could only perform once a day due to cartilage damage. (not serious)

Carson was released by the San Diego Chargers last year when the charges were initially brought against him. The Cowboys at the time felt comfortable with his situation. Carson was signed to the league minimum and given a $35,000 signing bonus earlier this year.

How this sentence affects his future in Dallas is unclear, but he should be ready to go for the start of training camp on July 31st.

The NFL could step in with a fine or suspension once he is released.

Editor's Note
The incident that brought about the charges of kidnapping and burgarly stemmed from last year when Carson travelled back to Alabama for a funeral. In an attempt to see his daughter, he broke into his ex-girlfriend's apartment and inexplicably took her sister with him.

CowboysHQ Top Stories