Owner Jerry Jones said the loss of cornerback Orlando Scandrick for four games to a failed drug test is a huge setback for the Cowboys.
“It’s certainly a setback, mainly for our team, and no one expresses that more than Orlando,” Jones said on his radio show on KRLD-FM. “But I have known about this for several months. This was an appeal process that he was going through. This was a performance-enhancing drug and one that, without a doubt, you can have some time no matter what your intention was. He’s one of our top, top off-the-field players.
“It really does disappoint us not only for the team but for him. I know no one regrets it more than he does.”
Scandrick was suspended on the NFL’s policy regarding performance-enhancing drugs after testing positive in April after taking a “molly” while on vacation with his girlfriend. The drug is commonly considered pure MDMA, but it can contain amphetamines, a banned substance under the PED policy.
Scandrick appealed the suspension with the argument the drug should be considered recreational and not performance-enhancing. If so, he would have fallen under the substance abuse policy, which would have required him to be tested regularly rather than an immediate suspension for a first-time offense.
Scandrick lost the appeal.
Jones is “sympathetic” to what he fully believes this was “an accident” by Scandrick but remains in full support of the league’s drug policy.
“I know the amount of scrutiny it receives in the league is very sensitive about the consequences of these penalties,” Jones said. “But on the other hand, they want a zero tolerance posture in the program. There’s always room for interpretation and that’s as it should be, but the program of appeals is one that is without a doubt taken seriously by everybody involved.
“I’m confident that it did get a full hearing. I understand the complaint and I am also sympathetic with the complaint, but boy, there have been some circumstances that are just really sad that these guys can without a doubt, accidentally, and I mean accidentally, have a performance-enhancing drug and that not have been the intent when they took it to actually enhance their performance.”