Football writer Jim Dent faces long prison term after 10 DWIs

In August, we passed along a tidbit from the book Manziel Mania, which claimed that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was so close to drafting quarterback Johnny Manziel that Jones’s son Stephen had to take the card with Manziel’s name on it out of Jerry’s hand.

Little did we know that the story of the author of Manziel Mania was even crazier than the story of the goings-on in the Cowboys’ draft room: It turns out that at the very time Manziel Mania was generating headlines, author Jim Dent was on the lam in Mexico, having jumped bail because he was facing a long prison term in Texas after his 10th conviction for driving while intoxicated.

The Dallas Morning News has conducted a thorough investigation of Dent, who authored several well-regarded books about football, including The Junction Boys and King of the Cowboys: The Life and Times of Jerry Jones. Dent has now been caught and resides in the Collin County jail, where he awaits sentencing on Thursday on the DWI charges. In addition to the DWI sentence, he now faces a felony charge of bail jumping and failure to appear in court, which carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

Dent promoted Manziel Mania from Mexico, using an Internet phone service that makes calls hard to trace so that he could conduct radio interviews to talk about the book without the authorities tracking him down. In all the news accounts of Manziel Mania — which got plenty of attention thanks to that headline-grabbing anecdote about the Cowboys’ draft room — no one mentioned that Dent was on the run from the law.

But the Dallas Morning News has done a thorough job of examining everything Dent has done: He has been convicted of DWI in five different counties in Texas, as well as convictions in Arkansas, Nevada and Oklahoma. One of his DWI arrests came on the very day he was released from jail for a previous DWI. He also has an active arrest warrant out for him in Arkansas because he failed to complete the alcohol counseling that was required as a result of his drunk driving conviction there. His former book agent says that organizing Dent’s schedule meant “juggling calls from five different lawyers in four different states,” and the agent eventually stopped working with Dent because of “too many late-night drunken calls.”

The law failed to stop Dent. His license was suspended but he kept driving anyway. He was ordered to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings but didn’t show. He was ordered to wear an ankle monitor, but he removed it. Dent promised in a jailhouse interview that he will never drink again, but that’s a promise he has broken before.

It’s a gripping story, one that Dent says he will write a book about. He’ll have plenty of time to finish it behind bars.

99 responses to “Football writer Jim Dent faces long prison term after 10 DWIs

  1. The legal privilege some enjoy is disgusting. Had he been a lowly beat writer or a regular Joe Blow he’d been in prison a long time ago.

  2. Our criminal system is a joke….

    First time inner city kids selling pot to suburbia get years in prison yet this guy is out doing whatever he wants and HAS A JOB!!!

  3. Every time a player gets a DUI and people come on here saying he should be banned from the league forever, I reply that the vast majority of people in this country would NOT lose their jobs if they got a DUI.

    Here’s a guy who writes about these very players for a living with TEN arrests, still working still getting paid.

  4. 1 is embarrassing, 2 is an arrogant disregard for others’ safety. 10 is unbelievable. Ten years and invoke that law stating people can’t benefit from the crimes they are convicted of by writing books or movie scripts about it.

  5. I assume he went on the run due to fear of not being able to drink for a long time rather than fear of being behind bars. Most people can’t even start their car without passing a breathalyzer installed in the ignition after a second or third offense

  6. Prison is basically the American answer to everything — from addiction to mental illness to bad parenting. Couldn’t someone have just taken his car and license away?

    I really don’t understand this country. Liberal laws, conservative punishments. It should be the converse.

  7. Dude should go to prison for the rest of his life. 10 of them is ridiculous as one DWI is a horrible crime that get treated like a slap on the wrist to most people. Stop putting people in jail for marijuana possession and put them in jail for DWI’s.

  8. The people of Texas should be embarrassed that this guy has been allowed to roam around for so long.

    I thought you people were tough on criminals?

  9. Yet all of his new neighbors can go to Texas and commit crimes, get child tax credits and get off without charges.

    How about the Pat Summmerall treatment program, make a bunch of cheesy videos and get a free driver.

  10. Harsher punishments for any driving under the influence need to happen, meaning jail time after the 2nd offense ( I would say first offense) but I know that would never gain traction because too many people drink and drive like its not an issue.

  11. Ten ??? TEN ??? As in, 10 ?? You cannot be serious. It’s amazing he hasn’t killed somebody. Which, by the way, is one of the reasons we put those clowns in prison. He should have been there a loooong time ago.

  12. Nothing exceptional about the sort of story that gets told in thousands of AA meetings every day.
    Unless he snorted cocaine with Manziel he doesn’t even have a TMZ post.

    I wish the poor guy well though and I hope he never has to live with hurting or even killing someone before he can turn his life around.
    There are some things even more important than your job.

  13. Guys got issues!!!
    Hope he gets the help he truly needs….& never drives again!!!

  14. The law failed to stop Dent. His license was suspended but he kept driving anyway?

    They SHOULD pass a federal covering ALL states that if you get caught drinking and driving after your license is suspended you go straight to prison.

  15. luther6 says:
    Apr 13, 2015 9:10 AM
    Prison is basically the American answer to everything — from addiction to mental illness to bad parenting. Couldn’t someone have just taken his car and license away?

    Cuz nobody ever drives with a suspended license… When I was a Sr in high school, a close friend and his girlfriend were both killed by a drunk driver when he hit them head on (while driving a dump truck). He had a suspended license. He was pulled over (with a suspended license) 2 weeks prior for drunk driving (his 9th DUI at the time). He is now in jail, and his record includes 10 counts of drunk driving in his life, he killed 3 people in drunk driving accidents. I can tell you, taking away a license isnt going to stop people

  16. Jim Dent – 10 DWI’s = 10 years in prison (maybe)

    Darren Sharper – 9 Druggings / Rapes = 9 years in prison

    Sounds reasonable to me. How about you?

  17. In the summer of 2014 I witnessed a horrific crash in front of a restaurant I was working at as a second job. A pickup truck plowed through a family out for a summer night bike ride. The father died right in the parking lot and his 18 month old son had horrific injuries. It turns out the driver was drunk and he had 5 prior DUI’s on his record. I ended up quitting that job because I couldn’t get those images out of my head. These repeated DUI offenders don’t get it and never will. Lock them away and throw away the key.

  18. They should ban all alcohol from NFL stadiums. Right Roger? Can’t smoke weed but stupid drunk is OK. Idiots.

  19. I have to commend PFT for reporting on this– One of “their own” (media person)

    I have to say that I didn’t hear any reports within the media on this guy before…. Makes me wonder how many more of these guys (or gals) are out there.

    We had a local TV news anchorwoman get fired and blasted– by other media outlets for getting TWO DWI’s within a year’s time.

    This guy (Dent) gets 10 and it seemingly got swept under the rug from the National Media— Did it even get reported by Texas media?…

    No wonder Adrian Peterson wanted to play for Dallas last season. Obviously, knowing people in high positions (within the Cowboys’ organization) has its reward.

    Stay classy Texas.

  20. I can maybe see how someone with 2-3 DWIs could maybe (if everything worked out right for them) slip through the system, but what happened when he got his fourth or fifth, or whatever? How broken is the system if a guys can get 10 DWIs before he gets a jail term?

  21. This guy needs to be locked up for a long time. He just doesn’t give a crap. The only thing that is going to protect the public against his drinking and driving is keeping this guy locked up. They’ve tried everything else and he just gave the authorities the finger.

    Great job as usual by the press, covering up for one of their own while casting their sanctimonious judgment on players who have less severe issues.

  22. It all depends on the State but a 10th driving while intoxicated likely has a lengthy mandatory minimum prison sentence. The ten years he is facing for jumping bail is the least of his concerns.

  23. Arrested for 10 DWIs got me thinking how many times does a person get away with drinking and driving before getting caught on average? 80 times! (From the CDC and MADD website):

    This guy went out over 800 times (probably more) over his drinking career. At least 800 times his co workers, friends, or family could have stopped him. 800 times he could have killed or injured someone. Talk about lucky to be alive, as well as anyone around this guy. Hope he turns things around in prison and uses his time to help folks realize the problems drinking and driving causes…

  24. The best part about the Manziel to Cowboys talk was where Dent claimed that Stephen Jones had to rip the card out of Jerry Jones’ hands to prevent Manziel from getting drafted by the Cowboys.

    I can’t possibly be the only person who watches the live-stream of the Cowboys war room on their website every year during the draft.

    I have seen a lot of cool stuff… my favorite was reading Stephen Jones’ lips say “DEZ…. NOW” after they had swung a trade to move up in the draft to get him.

    This whole thing with Stephen yanking the card from Jerry’s hand? It absolutely did not happen. The war room was calm when they picked, and there certainly was no struggle for a draft card.

  25. The difference between this guy’s DWIs and Sharper’s rapes is the fact that Sharper actually hurt someone.

  26. This guy should have been locked up a long time ago for the safety of public and for his own personal rehabilitation. That said, this thread of posters who are so bitter about their own station in life that they thirst to see others punished is just ugly.

    Addiction isn’t an excuse but it is a reason why people do what they do. The United States has an incarceration rate that is much higher than other countries. We don’t do it because it is effective we do it to reinforce our belief in personal responsibility.

    Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness has given way to competitive survival, servitude to our overlords, and pursuit of the almighty dollar.

    What percent of PFT posts are positive? I would put the number at around 25%. Pitino’s comments about the “fellowship of the miserable” doesn’t just apply to sports talk shows.

  27. Don’t show this to Craig over at HBT.. He will work for free because he believes drug and alcohol addicts shouldn’t be held accountable like the rest of us.

  28. I’ve always said you don’t need a license to drive, because you can always get into a car, turn the key, and drive off. If the Govt. rescinded the license of everybody in the country, you’ll still have rush hour traffic jams everywhere.
    That’s because you don’t need that license to get the car running. Until every car out there has a slot where you insert your license that has a chip in it that allows a car to run, this will be the case.

  29. OK so he has a drinking problem. But you can still have that problem and not be dumb and reckless enough to drive (at a minimum) 10 times while being blasted.

  30. Props to Tim Cowlishaw for giving up the sauce!!!
    Throw this dude, Dent, in prison!!!

  31. Should’ve smoked some green bud instead Al Coholic!!!…..just because something is legal doesn’t mean its right or healthier…lmao!

  32. It’s hard to get 10 DWI’s unless you work at it, in 5 County’s none the less. That has to be some kind on non-illegal alien record, because their names change to protect their relatives (who used their names last time).

  33. 10?????

    Alcohol is addictive… drinking and driving is not. That is just a crime. There should be zero sympathy. If he’s smart enough to write successful books he should at least be smart enough to use a car service if he wants to be a drunken buffoon. Get this guy off the streets.

  34. Some pursue their drinking careers into insanity or the gates of hell. There is a different way!

  35. The only question is how hasn’t this guy been slammed with a stricter sentence after DWI #6 or even DWI #7. Some judges have to be at fault allowing this guy to even be in position to get his 10th.

  36. He’ll get more time in jail than serial rapist Darren Sharper!

    “What a country” in a Yakov Smirnoff vioce. no pun intended

  37. Recovering addicts will tell you that once you are truly hooked, the addiction makes your decisions, not your cerebral cortex. For proof, see the fact that Dent got busted for DWI the same day he got out of jail, where he was serving time for DWI. Once he’s in prison this time, he should be forced to take treatment. Hopefully he will accept it and get clean, so next time he gets out he doesn’t drink & drive again and this time kill someone.

  38. Addiction is a disease. In every civilized country in the world, addicts are treated. In America, we throw them in prison.

  39. Leonard Little, DonTae Stallworth killed people while driving drunk and continued their nfl careers. That was a digrace.Dent needs help this is beyond ridiculous that this has gotten to this level. Stay in prison as long as possible and get some help.

  40. Still waiting for you to explain how the ‘draft card’ with Manziel’s name on it that Stephen had to ‘rip out of Jerry’s hand was going to get from Valley Ranch in Texas (where the Cowboy’s ‘war room’ is) to New York where the draft was in the 15 minutes the Cowboys were on the clock.

  41. @donttouch

    So jumping bail and driving drunk is a disease? Yes, alchoholism is a disease and should be treated, but, driving drunk repeatedly and jumping bail by fleeing the couuntry is not a disease and Dent should be held accountable for his actions. Alchoholism does not excuse his actions.

  42. “First time inner city kids selling pot to suburbia get years in prison”

    Let’s not be a drama queen. First offense small time dealers don’t get years in prison for weed. Most get a slap on a wrist or a diversion program.

    Making stuff up and doesn’t make it fact.

  43. deljzc says:
    Apr 13, 2015 9:05 AM
    Our criminal system is a joke….

    First time inner city kids selling pot to suburbia get years in prison yet this guy is out doing whatever he wants and HAS A JOB!!!


    As an “inner city kid” who has a record for pot, no, no they don’t. First time offense, you get MAYBE probation, more likely section 17 (or whatever it’s called in your state), which is basically “don’t get arrested again for a year and this is expunged”

    But cool story

  44. Just a thought, but how can the nfl be so ignorant to the severed issues of alcoholism yet bombard us with alcohol commercials. On that tangent, advertising booze should be stopped (like cigarettes a long time ago). We all know bud light exists we don’t need to constantly see their ads

  45. The picture shown of him sure doesn’t help the situation… He looks like he’s already got a few in him and it’ probably not even noon…

  46. “Couldn’t someone have just taken his car and license away?”


    You really think that didn’t happen a long time ago? What do you do with people that (1) refuse to stop driving and (2) refuse to stop driving drunk? You lock them up so they can’t hurt people.

  47. He could always work in the Broncos’ front office.

    Oh wait! Nope, he knows how to use a fax machine.

  48. Oh, the guy was drinking and driving probably every single day of his adult life? But let’s keep marijuana illegal because it’s really dangerous, right gang?

  49. damonpsu says:
    Apr 13, 2015 12:22 PM

    Just a thought, but how can the NFL be so ignorant to the severed issues of alcoholism yet bombard us with alcohol commercials. On that tangent, advertising booze should be stopped (like cigarettes a long time ago). We all know bud light exists we don’t need to constantly see their ads


    Maybe so, but I don’t think alcohol ads cause drinking and driving.

  50. nolasoxfan2012 says:
    Apr 13, 2015 9:38 AM

    I can maybe see how someone with 2-3 DWIs could maybe (if everything worked out right for them) slip through the system, but what happened when he got his fourth or fifth, or whatever? How broken is the system if a guys can get 10 DWIs before he gets a jail term?
    $$$$ and lawyers.

  51. 10 years? And he comes back? I’ve been on the lam for years and its a breeze. You,d never get me in the tank for 10 years. He’s as stupid sober as he is drunk.

  52. As someone who has had a close relative killed by a reckless/drunk driver, trust me, no matter how conservative or liberal your state, your repeat dangerous driver laws are terrible. We had a judge tell the person who killed my relative he could stop getting the “driving on a suspended license” charges if he would just apply and do the paperwork to get his license back.

    Check your car insurance and make sure you have enough coverage in case an “under/uninsured” driver plows into you. In my state, people are only required to have $30k worth of insurance for bodily injury. Imagine if someone killed a head of household person. $30k total recovery. If more than one person was injured in the crash, they all split $60k. Insane. Dangerous drivers are on the road, underinsured and frankly, no one cares. Another tip: drive the biggest car you can afford.

  53. I moved from Texas in 2007 and the law at that time was a guaranteed 2 year prison sentence for the third DWI. I can’t see Texas becoming more lenient in regards to DWI’s.

    There is no way he was convicted in 5 Texas counties yet still avoided prison.

    There is something else going on here………..

  54. This guy probably drove buzzed or hammered thousands of times to get arrested 10 times. Keep him behind bars for life just so he doesn’t kill someone.

    How is it even possible to be arrested 10 times for a DUI? They have breathalyzers in cars now.. And they’re supposed to arrest you again for not meeting the terms of your release. This guy should have already spent years in prison.

  55. I enjoy a cold beer, gin & tonic or a Vesper martini in the summer. Have some Johnny Black, Makers or a nice sippin’ tequila in the fall/winter.

    Worked in an upscale bar/restaurant for many years and seen the drunken barflys that get 86’ed from the joint fot repeated annoying alcoholic behavior, to crazy bachelorette party catfights due to overdrinking…had close friends in and out of programs, DUIs, health issues etc etc.

    To me, if you simply cannot hold back from having “just one”, alcohol is no bueno. Never heard one “good” story come from wasted drunk folks. From teens in high school to lifelong drinkers like this dude.

    The vastly profitable tobacco and alcohol industries have been slow and fast killers for years. Thankfully I quit smoking two years ago after picking up the habit during my bar/restaurant years. Still, its shocking to see the bad media driven rap that legalized marijuana gets while drinking and smoking continues to wreak havoc in the addiction business.

  56. He didn’t hurt anyone (that we know of) while drinking and driving, but you have to wonder how many people he hurt during the time he wasn’t driving, especially the people he wrote about! Doesn’t sound like anyone even kinda likes the guy, and one of the people he wrote about, when told Dent is in jail, said, “Good.” You also have to wonder about the truthfulness of what he wrote–even the opening scene re: Jerry Jones and the Cowboy was made up! He may be a gifted writer, but maybe he shoulda stuck to fiction.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.