Pacman as A Cowboy: Is He Worth Saving?

IRVING, Texas -- At first glance, the union makes sense: Pacman Jones as a Cowboy? Valley Ranch is, after all, the Island of Misfit Toys. Dallas is, after all, a wonderland for a gentleman who enjoys gentlemen's clubs. And gawdalmighty could we use a stud defensive back.

I take it back. A Pacman-to-Dallas pairing makes sense on second glance, too. … because gawdalmighty could we use a defensive back.

The monumentally troubled Tennessee Titans star, who spent the 2007 on NFL suspension for his alleged misogynous and violent behavior in a Las Vegas strip club, is appearing on an apparently recently recorded video interview on RollingOut.com. In the video, Pacman Jones voices his desire to someday leave the Titans so he can suit up with the Dallas Cowboys.

"Hopefully, I can get out of Tennessee,'' Pacman says. "I want to go up to Dallas. So we'll see how it goes, and I'm just going to keep my head up.''

Pacman's dreadlocked head, of course, is the essential problem here. He is the NFL poster child for miscreant behavior. His latest go-round? He allegedly punched somebody. Who is female. Who is serving as the lawyer in a divorce case that involves the unmarried Jones. And the incident occurred. … (wait for it). … at yet another strip club.

Jones' suspension is up for NFL review in February, and Commissioner Roger Goodell has every reason to throw away the key. Pacman has claimed he's only been arrested twice in his life (only!) but the record suggests he's been arrested seven times. And regardless of that: If you were a pro football player, and the NFL commissioner suggested you stay clear of trouble. … would you even drive NEAR a strip club, let alone enter one, let alone allegedly sucker-punch a chick … who is a LAWYER?

And yet, having said all that. … gawdalmighty could we use a stud defensive back!

The Titans haven't yet trash-canned Pacman; maybe they let him back in their uniform, or maybe they trade him for a bag of magic beans. At this moment, his talent is extremely high (on the field, he has completely justified being the No. 6 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft) and his value is extremely low. "Making it rain'' with paper money at a Las Vegas strip club, triggering a brawl and a gunshot that left a club employee paralyzed. … it's as low as one can go.

But in the film room, you see it. Jones would push to become Dallas' best corner (yes, right alongside Terence Newman). We would never again have to suffer through the maturation of Jacques Reeves. He would become Dallas' punt returner, where he is just short of Devin Hesterish. He could even help as an extra receiver.

To me, it's a risk/reward thing. The risk? The Cowboys would take an image hit; of course, Tony Romo says he "doesn't care about perception,'' so who cares? This locker room seems strong enough to survive one bad apple; in fact, this locker room might be strong enough to have helped reform the likes of Terrell Owens, who was given trust under Wade Phillips and now gives it back to teammates. And on a serious note, Pacman truly does seem on the precipice of a personal tragedy; just as the Associated Press has dutifully and solemnly prepared Britney Spears' obituary, Cowboys watchers would be bracing themselves for stories of Pacman behind bars. … or worse.

Pacman's mom has spent three years in prison. Pacman's uncle was knifed to death. Pacman's dad died as the result of a bullet to the back of the head, at age 26. … a birthday Pacman himself has not yet seen. Guns. Prison. Death. An obit waiting to be written.

Is Adam "Pacman'' Jones salvageable as a human being? Is he worth saving? Or. …

Maybe the fans' debate about Pacman-as-a-Cowboy comes down to whether you are the type of follower who a) perceives each and every player to be part of the fabric of your community and maybe even of your life, or b) perceives the athlete to be an employee, a mercenary, a commodity, a disposable part.

Isn't that what T.O. is? And we're deciding to not dispose of him? Isn't that what Tank Johnson is? And while he didn't really tackle anybody all year, he also didn't shoot anybody. … so we don't care one way or another if he is disposed of?

Without having sat down with Cowboys defensive coordinator Brian Stewart on this issue (of course, it would be a tampering violation for him to speak on it), I can absolutely see the Stewart I know wanting to take on a rehab project with the upside of a Pacman. I know that Jerry Jones prides himself on being the Mayor of the Island of Misfit Toys, if you will. Jerry is an "I-can-fix-him'' sort of manager. And I know that with Randy Moss going to the Super Bowl, every team in the NFL is re-thinking its policy on risk/reward involving repute bad boys.

Terrell Owens? Bring it. Tank Johnson? Why not? Michael Vick? When's he getting out? Do the Cowboys need a team barber? Call Sweeney Todd, for all I care.

Maybe Pacman Jones can be fixed. Maybe Jerry can father him and Wade can uncle him and Stew can brother him and Calvin Hill can guide him from the strip clubs. (By the way, the new Spearmint Rhino just opened here. … and it's only nine minutes away from Valley Ranch as the limo flies.)

Pacman as a Cowboy? It's worth a glance. Because – if you haven't heard – gawdalmighty we could use a defensive back.

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