Someday we’re all going to tell future generations about the Lucky Whitehead saga and just how chaotic it was from start to finish (assuming it’s even finished but who knows at this point).
Boogotti Kasino, Blitz Whitehead, a case of mistaken identity, and a partridge and a pear-tree all led to one of the more infamous releases of a player in recent Cowboys history. When we saw Lucky Whitehead exonerated on Tuesday people could not wait to pick on the Cowboys brain trust.
Jason Garrett was having none of it. In his daily press conference he was firm in his non-answers, speaking only for 3:12. Typically Jerry Jones, who enters the Pro Football Hall of Fame next week, is the one to talk when others won’t, so people understandably flocked to him as soon as the afternoon’s practice was over. He was heated.
“What I want to remind everybody is we’re out here to basically add and cut players. That’s what we do. And there’s an art of the deal there. We don’t have the same parameters of a player to be cut that you as media might. We don’t have the same parameters that Washington Redskins or the Chicago Bears have. We have our own parameters. And over the next 30 days there will be several players that aren’t on this roster. There’ll be several that are here today and there’ll be several players that are here on maybe our roster at the time.”
“I can’t tell you in 29 years... the times that I’ve talked to a player that we’ve said ‘We’re gonna go on,’ and you don’t make the cut. And they say, ‘Mr. Jones we appreciate our opportunity, why didn’t you tell us early so that we’d have a chance to go be on a team and make it?’ So there’s nothing at all unusual in my mind here.”
“I’m not gonna specifically go about any player, but I am gonna say this is business as usual. And I really won’t go into my parameters about why a player is here or not. And it can be different than other people in our personnel department or what have you. So I’m not going into any of that, not gonna go into anything about Lucky. But I am gonna say if we’re gonna get wadded up over people coming and going around here, then get ready to stay in an angst because we’re gonna have some people coming and going.”
Jerry’s point here is a reduction of what people have viewed the Lucky Whitehead situation as. He’s stressing that the release, coming and going as he puts it, of a player is standard protocol. There’s apparently nothing to see here and it’s just business as usual.
Except this is not usual. This is what appears to be Lucky Whitehead being given the boot because of something he was completely innocent of. Nobody has a problem with Lucky Whitehead being released, he wasn’t going to make this team, but it does seem like a bit of an unfair way for him to have been given his walking papers.
The soon-to-be HOFer did raise a great point, though. Following this introduction Jerry Jones spun things back on the never-ending force (media as a whole) that has done the spinning against him at times throughout his career.
“I know how much a player that is wanting to when he competes at this level, I know how much he wants to make the team. I’ve never talked to a player that I’ve said, I’m not gonna talk about Lucky I’m gonna talk about players, I’ve never talked to a player that I didn’t have empathy.”
“Now you’re talking to somebody here that if y’all have done one thing in my time, and to criticize me is how I will back up a player to a fault. You’ve done it. You’ve done it for years, for that. I will back ‘em up to a fault. So that when we do make a decision around here that in the best interest of the team to move on, there’s one thing you can forget about and that is whether you’re being fair or whether you’ve given it consideration of what it means to the individual. That doesn’t happen around here.”
He’s right. We’ve gotten on Jerry Jones time after time, contract after contract, for being far too loyal to his players. When Jerry and Co. bucked the trend here people raised arms, but again this isn’t the simplicity of just releasing a player.
Whatever the case, however you see it, it seems that Jerry Jones is done talking about this.