IRVING, Texas – Exactly one week after he was released by the Cowboys, Joseph Randle has been suspended by the NFL.
Randle was given a four-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy, stemming back to a February incident in his hometown of Wichita, Kan. The suspension is effective immediately, despite the fact that Randle cleared waivers last week and is currently a free agent.
That answers at least one question surrounding a bizarre couple of weeks for the former fifth-round draft pick. Randle left the Cowboys' facility and did not return several weeks ago, as team officials said he was dealing with personal issues.
At the same time, reports surfaced that Randle was facing a suspension for the incident in February. The charges were eventually dropped, but he was arrested for unlawful possession of marijuana, and he was also investigated for a domestic violence claim from the mother of his son.
Even with the charges dropped, the issue fell within the bounds of NFL disciplinary action.
It was also his second arrest since being drafted. He was arrested for shoplifting from a local mall in October 2014 and fined by the team for the infraction.
Cowboys executives said Randle needed to focus on his personal issues last week when he was released, though they declined to elaborate. Given this news, though, it seems plausible that the looming suspension played a role in the decision to move on.
Randle started the first six games of the season for the Cowboys, carrying the ball 76 times for 315 yards and four touchdowns. He suffered an oblique strain on his second carry from scrimmage against the Giants in Week 7, effectively ending his playing career in Dallas.
Since then, Darren McFadden has seized control of the starting running back job. McFadden has accumulated 76 carries in just three games since Randle was injured, racking up 333 yards and a touchdown in that span.