Cowboys owner feels partially responsible for latest suspension
IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Thursday that one of the reasons he is willing to take another chance on Adam "Pacman" Jones is because he feels partly to blame for the cornerback's latest trouble.
"Yes, I do take responsibility for the fact that it was my own security that the issue was part of," Jerry Jones said. "Because it was my guy there that created the problem. ... The way that it was supposed to work in my mind, to some degree, we wouldn't have had that problem."
While there was still no confirmation Thursday from the NFL, Jones stood by his announcement from a day earlier that Adam Jones is being reinstated from what commissioner Roger Goodell had called an indefinite suspension.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello didn't respond Thursday to an inquiry for an update on Adam Jones' suspension. A day earlier, Aiello wrote in an e-mail, "When there is a final determination, we will announce it."
The Cowboys owner expects Adam Jones to return to practice Monday and be eligible to play Dec. 7 at Pittsburgh.
Adam Jones was suspended for the entire 2007 season because of multiple incidents while with the Tennessee Titans, then was traded to the Cowboys during the offseason and given another chance by Goodell.
But on Oct. 7, only six weeks after being reinstated, he got into an alcohol-related scuffle with one of the bodyguards during a private party at an upscale Dallas hotel. The bodyguard was part of a security detail employed by the team to help keep the player out of trouble.
Goodell suspended Adam Jones indefinitely a week later, saying he'd put a timeframe on it after the cornerback missed at least four games. By the time Jones returns, assuming he's back for the Pittsburgh game, it will be a six-game suspension -- meaning he'll have missed 22 of 28 games since the end of the 2006 season because of suspensions.
Mosley: Pacman's BackAdam Jones will rejoin his teammates on a limited basis Thursday and then return to full-time practice Monday. His first game back will be Dec. 7 in Pittsburgh. Still, it's a huge win for Jones and his dwindling group of lawyers, writes Matt Mosley. Blog
"I completely agreed with the commissioner's decision. I completely agreed with it and certainly have no issues with what the league wanted him to do regarding his testing and evaluation," Jerry Jones said. "I don't have any issues with any of that. The thing that created a problem for him, I feel responsible for."
Jerry Jones said in October that the scuffle resulted from joking banter between the player and the bodyguard that got out of hand but was quickly settled, though police were called. The owner said then he was also concerned that maybe the relationship between the two, who were constantly with each other, had become too friendly.
This time, Adam Jones will be on his own. There will be no more team-employed bodyguards to constantly accompany him.
Jerry Jones said the cornerback is an "outstanding talent" who did everything he was required to do to get his chance to be reinstated and play with the Cowboys after his season-long suspension.
"I think he has an ongoing challenge to stay out of the public eye in a negative way for the Cowboys," Jerry Jones said. "He has an ongoing challenge to not only be smart in his judgment, but I think he's probably challenged to some of the issues that go with rehabilitation."
Jerry Jones said he didn't know when Goodell would formally announce the reinstatement, but said "to be fair with him, there's a technicality."
The Cowboys are expected to get a roster exemption when Adam Jones returns to practice next week. Jerry Jones said part of the delay in an announcement from the NFL could be while the commissioner determines if Adam Jones will start getting paid again next week, or not until he plays again.
The Cowboys owner said he hadn't had any further discussions with Goodell.
Coach Wade Phillips wasn't ready to talk about the return of Adam Jones yet.
"He's not back yet," Phillips said. "I mean, coach the guys that are here. He's not here yet, so we'll just wait on that."
Defensive coordinator Brian Stewart said the team would "bring him in with welcome arms" but wasn't ready to say what expectations he had for Adam Jones.
"We just have got to wait to get him and take a look at what kind of shape he's in. Take a look at what he has retained from being here and not being here, and move from there," Stewart said. "I don't think we have expectations outside of let's just see how it works and everything will play itself out."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press