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Wednesday Why’s


My man Andrew Brandt from the National Football Post helps me reflect on some of my questions on the last couple of days...

Why did Commissioner Goodell give Pacman Jones an “indefinite suspension”?

Jones had clearly frustrated the Commissioner yet again. When he was reinstated to play for the Cowboys – something that was presumed when the Cowboys signed him while under suspension – he was held to certain standards that required zero tolerance for continued bad behavior. When Jones violated those standards – did anyone really think he would not? – the Commissioner and the league had to act even if the Cowboys would not. Pacman has become the poster boy for the Personal Conduct Policy in the worst possible way.

Why can the Commissioner discipline Pacman – and other players – without any legal or criminal disposition of their cases?

This is a change from the previous regime under Commissioner Tagliabue, where the NFL typically waited until a criminal charge had wended its way through the judicial process prior to discipline. No longer. Commissioner Goodell has implemented the Personal Conduct Policy and will mete out discipline prior to and sometimes immediately after the conduct occurs. This was the case for Koren Robinson when I was with the Packers. It was the case for Tank Johnson, yet another Cowboy with issues, and it is once again the case for Pacman after his most recent “alcohol-related incident.”

Why can’t Pacman stay out of trouble?

People like him do not change. Shame on anyone (Cowboys) who thought he would.

Why do the Titans now get a fifth-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft from the Cowboys?

This was part of the trade agreement last year. The Titans received a fourth in the 2008 NFL draft, which they already obviously used. However, if Pacman were to be suspended during the 2008 season – which just occurred – the Titans had to give a fifth back to the Cowboys. The Cowboys would have looked quite foolish if language such as this was not included.

Why would the Cowboys give up so much – a first, third and sixth round picks – for Roy Williams from the Lions?

On paper, this looks like a win for the Lions, gaining some valuable currency in the form of draft picks for a player that seemed talented but underachieving. However, upon closer inspection, this may truly be one of those “change-of-scenery” deals. Williams had previous stardom at University of Texas and perhaps it is unfair to judge a player in the abyss that has been the Lions lately. I know that having played against him for many years, he was a player we feared at the Packers. But overall this is a good trade for the Lions, who get a bounty of picks for a player that was probably leaving in a couple of months unless franchised. Obviously there was competition for Williams, which created leverage for the Lions.

Why would the Cowboys trade so much for Williams when he is a free agent after this year?

That is about to change. Negotiations have begun between Jerry Jones and Ben Dogra of CAA, Williams’ agent, towards a long-term extension. With the leverage of the trade and his free agent year, Dogra should be able to negotiate a deal average just under the 10M a year standard set by Randy Moss, Larry Fitzgerald, and yes, Williams’ new teammate, one Terrell Owens earlier this offseason.

Why did the Cowboys do a new contract earlier this offseason for Patrick Crayton?

Most teams would not acquire another wide receiver with a new contract to average more than 9M a year after paying 10M a year to one receiver and just re-signing another. Crayton’s deal – four-year, 14M with 6M guaranteed – is more than some teams’ #1 receivers make, but for the Cowboys makes him a distant third on the wide receiver money chart. Crayton is lucky to have that deal and may be the highest paid backup receiver in the NFL.

Why are all these questions about the Cowboys?

Just the way Jerry Jones likes it…but I’ll make one not about them.

Why didn’t the Chiefs trade Tony Gonzalez?

The Chiefs and general manager Carl Peterson were intent on getting a second round pick rather than getting the best deal they could. With the Giants earlier getting a #2 and a #5 for Jeremy Shockey, Peterson was steadfast on wanting similar compensation. Nothing similar was forthcoming, and Gonzalez remains a Chief.

-Ed.


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