Sports Outside the Beltway

Cowboys Cut Pacman

The Pacman Jones experiment is over in Dallas.

After just one season with the team, the Cowboys are cutting ties with Adam “Pacman” Jones, releasing the cornerback late Wednesday afternoon.

Jones, who joined the Cowboys last spring through a trade with the Titans, seemed to make as many off-the-field headlines as he did with his play.  Even with three years remaining on Jones’ contract, the Cowboys apparently felt the need to move on from the often-troubled cornerback, who served a six-game NFL suspension this season for his involvement in a scuffle with his own personal bodyguard at a Dallas hotel back in early October.

Although the Cowboys inherited Jones’ original contract with the Titans, which expires after the 2011 season, they will not take a salary cap hit, considering his bonus hit Tennessee’s books last season when he was dealt to the Cowboys for a fourth-round pick in 2008. The trade also included the Cowboys giving Tennessee a sixth-round pick in 2009. However, because of Jones’ suspension, it not only nullified that pick, which goes back to Dallas, but the Titans then had to give the Cowboys an additional fifth-round pick next season.

This guy’s a tremendous athlete and some other team will almost surely sign him. But the Cowboys have too many knuckleheads and not enough discipline. Pacman had to go.

DMN’s Jean-Jacques Taylor agrees.

[T]he Cowboys are a better team without him. Sometimes, subtraction – not addition – is the key to improvement.

But let’s not act like Jones was this team’s biggest problem, because he wasn’t. We should consider getting rid of Jones the start of an off-season of change.

So is letting a guy like Tank Johnson, as overrated as they come, seek his fortune in free agency. Few things are worse than an average player who thinks he’s an All-Pro.

If we’re honest, ridding the team of [former special teams coach Bruce] Read and Jones required no sacrifice. Or sleepless nights. Or any angst. They were easy decisions.

For the Cowboys to become an elite team again, they will have to make much tougher decisions.

Like whether to release Terrell Owens, because there’s not a player or coach on this team with a strong enough personality to bring out the best in him while limiting his charismatic influence in the locker room. And whether it’s better to release Greg Ellis if he can’t handle Anthony Spencer’s increased role without griping.

And whether Jerry should fire Phillips now and hire Mike Shanahan instead of wasting a year hoping against hope that the 61-year-old coach with a reputation for being a softie can become a drill sergeant.

Agreed all around. T.O. is the wildcard, in that he’s not only a productive player but would represent a major cap hit if he were cut. Certainly, though, it’s something that needs to be strongly considered.

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