Adam Jones: The big fish

 

Adam Jones is the big fish that the Dallas Cowboys reeled in over the offseason. He’s the guy who is supposed to solidify a shaky secondary and push this defense to championship heights. He’s also supposed to turbo-charge an anemic return game on special teams. All of this is supposed to happen as soon as Jones gets reinstated by Roger Goodell. While other Cowboys stars are jet-setting around the country doing what players do in this downtime before training camp, Jones is doing what he supposed to do. And that’s staying out of trouble.

Meanwhile, cornerback Adam Jones — the player formerly known as Pacman — has remained in Dallas. He was spotted in the equipment room Tuesday and exchanged pleasantries with a reporter on his way to the locker room.

Now that’s good to hear. Much better than just dropping the name Pacman. Jones is so far living up to his end of the bargain and that’s staying out of the limelight and staying out of situations that could lead to disaster. Jerry Jones says that Adam is getting it.

"He is very committed. He is very committed physically and mentally. He is smart. He recognizes his challenge and he is really doing well."

His challenge is to not blow this second chance (or seventh chance if you want to get technical.) There’s a reason that Jones is being given this opportunity, a reason that Bob Ryan lays out in this article. In case you didn’t already know it, that reason is the guy is supremely talented. In sports, talent almost always trumps everything else. But even talent has its limits and in the new NFL Roger Goodell is trying to get that message across. So far, it appears Adam has gotten that message loud and clear.

The Cowboys big fish is doing and saying all the right things. He’s staying low-profile and staying in Dallas, going to Valley Ranch, and avoiding the temptation to "make it rain."

He’s also doing a little bit of that leisurely past-time that might help him avoid trouble. Fishing with Deion. That should be a reality show. Even in the supposedly laid-back environment that is fishing, Adam’s competitive instincts are on display.

"He was telling me he was so tired of Deion catching more fish than him that he asked a friend of mine if he knew a pro fisherman who could give him some tips," Jerry Jones recalled fondly. "He was so proud that he called me and told me that he outfished Deion. He is a competitor. He caught a big fish in the deciding catch in the competition and called me to tell me about it. That was a big deal to him."

The big fish caught the big fish.

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Bradie James is the guy who will be wearing the new transmitter placed in a defensive player’s helmet. He’s determined to break it with a big hit. He’ll also have to deal with not being able to use it on third down. Like last year, he'll be watching from the sidelines as the Cowboys defense goes to its nickel/dime packages. But don’t think you’ll catch a leader like James complaining.

It's about what you do next," James said. "Do I sit over here and cry about not being on third down? Nah, I'm going to go out here and make just as many plays on first and second down."

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