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Playing with the Devil and losing

I thought it made sense at the time.

For a team on the verge of the Super Bowl, maybe it was. You add a high-risk, high-reward player at a reasonable salary. If it doesn't work, he's gone. If it does, you gambled and won.

I realized the risk at the time. I acknowledged his baggage. His arrests. The naysayers. It was a Faustian deal with the Devil and I believed we'd see a championship before hellfire.

Turns out I was wrong on both counts. The Cowboys weren't on the verge of anything except implusion. And Pacman Jones was high-risk alright. But the rewards never surfaced.

Jones did play hard and he did lead the team in pass deflections. But he wasn't the punt returner we envisioned nor the impact player we gambled for.

Now, according to reports, his days as a Cowboy are over.

The Adam Jones' experiment is over.

The Cowboys will release Jones on Friday, the first day teams are allowed to waive players, severing ties with the oft-troubled player and leaving the sixth overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft without a job again.

The Cowboys acquired Jones from Tennessee last April for a fourth-round pick while he was under league suspension for multiple violations of the personal conduct policy. He was fully reinstated on Aug. 28 by the league after he was allowed to participate in the organized team activities, training camp and preseason games.

We played with the Devil and got burnt. I'm not saying Pacman is the devil. Go down to the local police department and read the police blotters and you'll see that. But we opened ourselves up to an unnecessary distraction when we should've been focused on football and it bit us in the butt. That's the Devil to me. Not being focused on the real reason we all come here: football.

I hope the burning sensation lingers a little bit.

We should learn from this.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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