FRISCO, Texas – Happy Fourth, and Fifth, Sixth and Seventh for that matter.
Not much actual football news going on around here, but a lot of vacations, and from the looks of things here at The Star, I should have stretched mine out for the rest of this week.
But hey, someone has to work, and as you know, with the Cowboys, there's always something going on worthy of a few shots every week.
So let's get started.
· Saying Your Sorry: The Cowboys must have hoped after Ezekiel Elliott's meeting Tuesday with the Commish Goodell over his Vegas incident that of course didn't stay in Vegas, that all he'd have to do is say he's sorry and pledge to just do better. And he did on Twitter. Then a day later the NFL absolved him of any serious breach of the personal conduct policy. And if you look at the incident, it really wasn't much, since the nudge of the security guard causing the ensuing flop was World Cup worthy, if you know what I mean. The meat of his apologetic Tweet was this: "I've worked hard to make better decisions and to live up to the high standards that are expected of me. I failed to do that here and I made a poor decision." And as I've said previously, Zeke just needs to remember at all times he's Zeke Elliott not Pete Elliott. There are a million eyeballs – or cell phone cameras – on him at all times. The worse part of the incident was pictures of him getting cuffed by the police. But as I've previously suggested, and was confirmed to me, the Vegas PD did him a favor by calmly escorting him out of what could have turned into a volatile situation and deescalated the whole scene. He really owes those officers a big thank you.
· Jerry Sez: There seemed to be this perception that when Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was asked about Zeke's incident, he said he didn't foresee any punishment coming down from the NFL. Well, that wasn't my recollection, so went back to listen to the press conference Jerry held after the Dr Pepper ceremonial dirt-turning on the newest edition to The Star complex. For the record, here was the question asked: You've been very supportive of Zeke Elliott of his time, ups and downs, your reflection on his Vegas video? "Well, I think that the main thing is that I don't see anything that we, that needs supporting. In terms of his status with us, (it) has not been impacted in any way. Frankly, I know how conscientious he has been in the offseason, and that's good enough. No, I don't see that having any consequences for us." I interpreted for us meaning no effect on potential contract negotiations. And then when asked if the NFL might dole out some sort of punishment, Jerry said, "I think that he's had a great offseason, a great season last year, and I think that will speak for itself. So I think that his overall career at this point has been in a really positive place." Non-answer. Either way, Jerry had the pulse of the situation, the NFL's release ultimately saying, "Commissioner Goodell determined there was no violation of the personal conduct policy and no further action is warranted."
· Not Wright: Sure hated to see former Cowboys quarterback Anthony Wright was shot in Concord, N.C., but is recovering in stable condition on Monday after suffering multiple gunshot wounds during a domestic dispute. An on-scene witness's account told police Wright was engaged in a verbal dispute with his girlfriend's ex-boyfriend that began when the ex, William Hooker Jr., showed up to drop off his daughter. A warrant was out for the arrest of Hooker. Wright spent two seasons with Dallas (2000-01), starting two games in 2000 and three in 2001 during the Cowboys' quarterback-roulette season. Frankly, Wright was the best of the four starters but was derailed after his final start, needing arthroscopic knee surgery. He went on to play two seasons with Baltimore, one with Cincinnati and two more with the Giants, where he was a member of New York's 2007 Super Bowl championship team before spending the second year on IR.
· CBA Yea: Any news about the NFL and NFLPA planned talks this early over a new Collective Bargaining Agreement that must be hammered out following the 2020 season is encouraging news. Because with the number of huge issues that will be on the table, sure wouldn't be surprising if there would be a work stoppage heading into the 2021 season, should talks drag into the 11th hour. The early meeting will take place July 17-19, and here's to hoping this is a peaceful precursor because we all remember what happened in 2011 when the lockout bumped right up to the start of training camp before there was an agreement. To me, the players' biggest issues with the NFL will be marijuana testing and rules; the commissioner's authority; potential 18-game seasons; guaranteed contracts; and on-going health care. The Zeke suspension in 2017 opened up a lot of eyes in locker rooms around the league.
· Look At Me: In a recent interview with the Wisconsin State Journal, Cowboys new wide receiver Randall Cobb was asked what his reaction will be this coming season when the Cowboys meet the Packers (Oct. 6), the team he has played for during his entire eight-year NFL career. Said Cobb, "It's like the ex-girlfriend that broke up with you. When you see her five years later, you hope you're in a better situation than you were before – married, with kids, and you're able to say, 'Yeah, I did better without you.'" We all probably can relate.
· Grand Finale Shots: Might be the holidays, but sure did see the likes of DeMarcus Lawrence and Byron Jones out here this week working on their rehab with Cowboys associate trainer Britt Brown … That Pro Football Hall of Fame prez David Baker says to honor the NFL's Centennial season the PFHOF is considering inducting 20 enshrinees into the Class of 2020 instead of the maximum eight certainly is good news for those who having been sitting on the precipice of induction for so many years. Discussions with the board are set for Aug. 2. If there's an additional 12, they should be those many overlooked seniors. As Baker says, "We have several guys who are on all-decade teams who aren't in the Hall of Fame. And, so, this is an opportunity with the Centennial coming up." Maybe guys like Cowboys safety Cliff Harris and long overdue Drew Pearson …