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Cowboys not deterred by Durant’s past alcohol incidents

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Of all 32 NFL franchises, one currently has even more reason than the others to think twice about acquiring players with a history of DUI incidents.

As explained by Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News, that didn’t stop the Cowboys from signing linebacker Justin Durant.  The former Lion and Jaguar has twice been arrested for alcohol-related incidents.

In February 2006, Durant faced charges of DUI and reckless driving.  Durant eventually was found guilty of DUI.  In November 2007, as a rookie in Jacksonville, Durant was arrested for possession of an open container of alcohol and resisting an officer without violence.

While Durant wasn’t charged with DUI, police found him passed out in his vehicle with the car in drive.  A Taser blast got him to release the steering wheel, and he passed a field sobriety test.

More than five years have passed since the most recent incident, and Durant has had no other problems.  But with the Cowboys still reeling from the death of linebacker Jerry Brown in a vehicle driven by nose tackle Josh Brent, the Cowboys are taking a risk.

“Obviously we do checks, and people do make mistakes, and we feel like in this case it is in his past,” Cowboys executive V.P. Stephen Jones said.  “It doesn’t matter if it’s a drafted player or a guy who has been in the league, we check on everyone.  He’s obviously had to pay a price for it, and we feel like that’s in his past and he will be a productive Cowboy for us.”

The reality is that every player drafted or signed by the Cowboys or any team carries with him the risk of a potential drunk-driving incident.  Players are young, they have money, and they want to have a good time when on their own time.  The challenge for every franchise, and for the league and the NFLPA, remains getting through to the players regarding the importance of making arrangements for a ride before drinking and/or of using the car services available to NFL players if/when they have too much to drink.

While drunk driving remains a significant societal problem, sports teams have a unique obligation to ensure that the men they bring to town don’t put the lives of the fan base at risk.  As Cliff Christl of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel once asked Packers G.M. Ted Thompson regarding the acquisition of receiver Koren Robinson, “Ted, what if he kills somebody in this state?”

That’s a question every team needs to ask itself regarding every player who is hired, regardless of whether he has a history of drunk driving or not.  And every team needs to ensure that its players have the resources and education to avoid the kind of mistakes that can claim lives.

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18 Responses to “Cowboys not deterred by Durant’s past alcohol incidents”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 20, 2013 7:32 PM

    This is sad news to hear. This means maybe they would in fact have traded for him at some point after the Lions signed him like I was hoping for. Another missed opportunity to get rid of a player that doesn’t have strategic long-term value AND to get paid for it in the process. Typical Lions’ exit strategy.

  2. SparkyGump says: Apr 20, 2013 7:35 PM

    Jerry just loves playing nursemaid.

  3. gbmickey says: Apr 20, 2013 7:36 PM

    What a joke the Cowboys are. Considering the death last year you would think they would stay clear.

  4. seenable says: Apr 20, 2013 7:55 PM

    Diehard Lions fan here. I hadn’t known this info previously, and frankly, this surprises me quite a bit. Justin Durant seemed to be one of the more conscientious and engaging individuals on the Lions over the past two years (the two years he was on the roster). That probably says something about the Lions roster as a whole, but by all indications, Justin Durant was/is a very upstanding individual.

  5. thejuddstir says: Apr 20, 2013 8:11 PM

    “As Cliff Christl of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel once asked Packers G.M. Ted Thompson regarding the acquisition of receiver Koren Robinson, “Ted, what if he kills somebody in this state?”……………….Ted’s response, ” he’s a packer, the fans will probably elect him governor”.

  6. boogymanoflamancha says: Apr 20, 2013 8:21 PM

    I would think they should be extremely deterred by this…But sadly, I’m not surprised that they are not.

  7. 6thsense79 says: Apr 20, 2013 8:28 PM

    The last incident involved an open container and was over 5 years ago. Since then nothing. So why exactly is this seen as a big risk? As a Redskin fan I can think of quite a few things to criticize and make fun of the Cowboys over but this is far down the list. Must be a slow weekend.

  8. flickaboogie says: Apr 20, 2013 8:33 PM

    No problems while with the Lions except once in a while he played like he was drunk.

  9. dalucks says: Apr 20, 2013 8:57 PM

    It is the Cowboys we are talking about. Are you not familiar with the 90′s Cowboys? Durant looks like a boy scout.
    The media needs to stop overvaluing character and undervaluing talent.
    Talent wins games. Period, point blank.

  10. spideysdog says: Apr 20, 2013 9:59 PM

    daluck,

    you must be a Raiders or Cowboys fan, cause that is a statement so stupid only one of those two would make it. Overvalue character and undervalue talent? Titus Young is extremely talented. so was Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson, Michael Vick, Vince Young and on and on….. how’d that work out? Terrell Owens could have retired holding many NFL records, but his LACK of character was detrimental to the team and got him launched. repeatedly. Randy Moss the same.

    undertaking character is a good part of why the Lions are where they are.

  11. divious24 says: Apr 20, 2013 10:22 PM

    The people on here who respond to posts r so judge mental like you guys live your lives by the rules just shut up on all the negative griping all the time

  12. wttoolman says: Apr 20, 2013 10:27 PM

    Seriously?? It’s been over 5 years!! No risk whatsoever!! Consider him rehabilitated!!

  13. aljack88 says: Apr 20, 2013 10:57 PM

    dalucks says:
    Apr 20, 2013 8:57 PM
    It is the Cowboys we are talking about. Are you not familiar with the 90′s Cowboys? Durant looks like a boy scout.
    The media needs to stop overvaluing character and undervaluing talent.
    Talent wins games. Period, point blank.

    ———————————————————

    Irving, Williams, et al, have no idea what you’re talking aboutm

  14. mazblast says: Apr 20, 2013 11:47 PM

    gbmickey says: Apr 20, 2013 7:36 PM

    What a joke the Cowboys are. Considering the death last year you would think they would stay clear.
    ———————————–
    Jerrah never met a player he wanted for whom he wouldn’t make the biggest excuses.

    That said, we are talking about incidents that happened a fairly long time ago. No one was hurt, and his record has apparently been clean for over five years. At some point, you have to say the incidents are forgiven if not forgotten, and evaluate the guy on his ability and performance on the field. That is where this player may come up short.

  15. maddenisfordorks says: Apr 21, 2013 1:00 AM

    I pulled for JD when he was a Jag, and I still pull for the guy.

    We’ve all made mistakes.

    Imagine how many of us would be thought of as permanent turds if we were written off by society by mooning people (once or twice) when we were younger?

  16. classactcalvin81 says: Apr 21, 2013 7:57 AM

    Strategy Expert=NFL Insider. Cause he just knows it all.

  17. bert1913 says: Apr 21, 2013 8:35 AM

    jerry jones the owner would have fired jerry jones the gm a long time ago, and jerry jones the ex gm would never be offered another position in the nfl.

  18. dd393 says: Apr 21, 2013 9:34 AM

    ‘Course not. He’d fit right in down there in Dallas town. Maybe break out a bottle with Jerry and talk about the future of the team.

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