Hours after coach Jason Garrett abruptly ended a press conference after battling with the media over the team’s decision to release receiver Lucky Whitehead based on false information, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones grew emotional while chastising the media over what he perceived as unfair criticism.
Jones wouldn’t comment specifically on Whitehead, who was released on Monday just hours after he was believed to have been arrested in Virginia in June for petty theft. Whitehead proclaimed his innonence. However, the Cowboys didn’t believe him only to wake up Tuesday to learn that it was indeed a case of mistaken identity.
The Cowboys said they cut Whitehead because of a number of issues and refused to back down on their decision.
Jones said Cowboys didn’t have justify their rosters decisions to anyone. And that player movement happens all the time in training camp.
“What I want to remind everybody is we’re out here to basically add and cut players,” Jones said. 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 a media might. We don’t have the same parameters as the 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. They’ll be several that are here today and there will be several players here maybe (not) on our roster at the time...So there’s nothing at all unusual in my mind here.
“ I’m not going to specifically go on about any payer but I am going to say this is business as usual and I really won’t go into my parameters about why a player is here or not. I’m not going to go into anything about Lucky but I am going to say if you’re going to get wadded up over people coming and going around here then get ready to stay in an angst because we’re going to have people coming and going.”
Asked if he regrets making the move with Whitehead in light of the news of his innonence in the Virginia case, Jones grew emotional. He said he has empathy for players because he knows how hard they work. But he said pointed out the irony in him being criticized for being too tough players when he is often criticized for being too lenient.
“Now you’re talking to somebody here that if y’all had done one thing in my time and that is criticize me is how I will back up a player to a fault,” Jones said. “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’s 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. Thank you guys.”
And Jones walked away.