What if the Cowboys acquire Pacman, figuring him for their starting corner, or at least the nickel guy, causing them to ignore their obvious needs at cornerback high in the draft and he runs afoul again, infuriating Goodell into issuing an indefinite suspension? Then who's on third, er, the nickel? Who's returning kicks?
Evidently, this character issue didn't just develop. Saw in one 2005 draft guide when analyzing Pacman Jones, "Character can be an issue with some teams." Meaning his, from even back then at West Virginia.
What if Pacman does something to cause his probation handed down from an obstruction charge to be revoked, and he's suspended by the state, not the commish? Then who is playing corner?
Now you can't summarily dismiss these what-ifs by saying, well, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones took a chance on Tank Johnson, and look how well that turned out. You can't say this will work because Jerry Jones has taken chances on, oh, Terrell Owens, and look how well that has turned out.
And please, don't tell me the Cowboys have the ability to handle such knuckleheads because of their fine player development program, although I do respect the abilities of Dr. Jacqualene Stephens and Calvin Hill. They do a fine job.
But they do an even finer job when handed players of character. Deal with the Newmans and Wares and Ratliffs and Gurodes and Craytons and Hurds and Barbers and chances are your track record is going to be pretty darn good. But start sprinkling in some rotten pecans and see how fast the quality of that pie diminishes. You know how that one moldy grape starts spreading that gooey white stuff to the rest of the bunch?
What if Pacman and Tank should bond?
I mean, are we to assume Tennessee didn't give Pacman Jones another chance? Nor another and another? Are we to assume the Titans didn't have some mechanism in place to give players guidance? Are we to assume there weren't enough good guys in that Tennessee locker room, guys such as Vince Young, Kevin Mawae and Kyle Vanden Bosh, to positively influence him?
As one player told me recently, in regards to the counseling, "Grown men will do what they want to do." Meaning, regardless.
And I'll say it again, yes, the Cowboys have taken chances with some questionable characters with questionable backgrounds. And in the end, they were questionable characters, guys such as Alonzo Spellman, Demetrius Underwood, Mike Ulufale, Nicky Sualua, Antonio Bryant, Quincy Carter, Derek Ross, Kareem Larrimore and The Hambricks. They took chances on some guys who slid in the draft because of their questionable work ethic, guys such as Solomon Page, Willie Blade, Char-ron Dorsey to name a few, and in that end, that's what caused those guys to fall by the wayside.
The percentages will get you in the end on these rehabilitation projects. You hope guys such as these will only break your heart, not your team.
Ask Tennessee about some of that. See what they got out of his 4.4 speed they thought the chance was worth taking with the sixth pick in the draft. Think they might want a do-over, maybe have taken, oh, DeMarcus Ware with that pick instead?
Not saying dealing with Pacman is wrong. Not saying don't do it. Not saying it won't work. All I'm presenting is a cautionary side.
Like his game namesake, you just hope Pacman eats the dots if he ends up here, not all the damning ghosts that seemingly still get in his way.