Ghosts Of Pacman's Past Swallow Him Up

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So take your pick as for why the Cowboys pulled the trigger when they did, but there was certainly enough reason to do so even before ESPN began beating its chest for forcing the Cowboys' hand. Heck, who would have argued the point back after Thanksgiving when the NFL reinstated him - again?

But at some point, enough is enough.

The only good to come out of gambling on Pacman is the Cowboys hedged their bet, and for that, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones must get credit for being a shrewd businessman. First of all, the Cowboys didn't give Pacman any money, as in a signing bonus when executing the sign-and-trade deal with Tennessee. He had to earn it, game by game, so he ended up costing them $411,765 for 10 games of service. Releasing him come Feb. 9 will not cost them a dime on the 2009 salary cap.

Then the Cowboys did not cave in to the Titans outrageous trade demands, thinking they were going to get a first in return for the knucklehead. The Cowboys ended up giving the Titans a 2008 fourth-rounder, which ended up being wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins, and promised them a 2009 sixth if Pacman completed the season with a clean slate.

Of course, he did not, which not only voided the sixth-round pick the Cowboys would have owed the Titans, but now forces the Titans to give the Cowboys their 2009 fifth-round pick in return. So if you are scoring at home, the Cowboys essentially gave up the difference between last year's 28th pick in the fourth round for - depending on the playoff outcome - no higher than the 30th pick in the fifth round or potentially, if Tennessee should win the Super Bowl, the 32nd - no more than 36 spots in the draft.

You'd roll the dice on that draft chump change.

And, on top of all that, as was advocated back in April, the Cowboys also had to insure their bet, meaning still draft a first-round quality cornerback because, as Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones pointed out at the time, they had to treat the draft as if Pacman wasn't even there. He would be considered no more than a bonus, not a solution.

And they did, not only taking cornerback Mike Jenkins in the first round but also Orlando Scandrick in the fifth to repair what had been a previously sore position.

Pacman then became the parlay that never paid off.

So the lasting repercussions are minimal. Nothing financial. No trader's remorse. No serious cornerback vacancy. And there can't be any locker room backlash to this move.

Really, just one body guard with bruised feelings.

In the Joneses' previous business parlance, a free drilling of what turned out to be a dry well.

Now as the Cowboys frustratingly brace to watch the second round of the NFL playoffs this weekend, there were those way back in September who predicted this inevitable ending to Pacman's stay in Dallas, already having seen through his temperamental temperament and transparent words. Too bad for Pacman, he had his chance, now squandering another $1.5 million he didn't have to squander.

All meaning in the end, sometimes it's just OK to call a knucklehead a knucklehead.

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