Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys believe their positive culture helps absorb high-risk NFL prospects

Tight end Jason Witten, left, and quarterback Tony Romo provide a stable veteran influence in the Cowboys’ locker room.
Tight end Jason Witten, left, and quarterback Tony Romo provide a stable veteran influence in the Cowboys’ locker room. Star-Telegram

Are the Dallas Cowboys built to absorb flawed players?

Jason Garrett has preached the importance of building a team with the “right kind of guys” ever since he became the Dallas Cowboys’ coach. That, in his mind, is how the team would build the “right kind of culture.”

For the most part, the Cowboys have succeeded. Having Tony Romo and Jason Witten as veteran examples of how to do things the right way helps, of course. So do their recent drafts.

The Cowboys’ past two first-round picks — center Travis Frederick and right guard Zack Martin — entered the league with minimal character concerns, and have each excelled in their respective positions.

So have players such as linebacker Anthony Hitchens, a fourth-round pick last season, and safety J.J. Wilcox, a third-rounder in 2013.

Building a nucleus with those types of core players allows the Cowboys to gamble on someone such as Rolando McClain, who exceeded expectations last season, and Greg Hardy.

And they might find themselves in position to roll the dice once again this weekend in the NFL Draft. If someone with as much talent and ability as Nebraska’s pass rusher Randy Gregory, for instance, slides to them at 27, the Cowboys likely won’t be shy about picking him.

Gregory has issues, such as a failed drug test at the Combine, but the Cowboys believe they have a roster that is capable of absorbing questionable players and bringing the best out of them.

“The first thing when you’re trying to establish the right kind of culture is, ‘Who do you allow in these doors?’” Garrett said. “And you’re going to have a better culture if you’re bringing better guys in. Having said that, if you’ve done that year after year after year, and you’ve developed that, you can absorb one of these guys maybe more than you could if your culture wasn’t quite as good and you didn’t have that quality of character on your team.

“We’re amateurs as coaches in figuring out what somebody is all about, but we’ve done this a lot.”

No charges for Randle

Joseph Randle won’t face felony charges for domestic violence after the Sedgwick County (Kan.) District Attorney’s Office concluded there was “a lack of evidence” to go forward with the case.

The Wichita, Kan., police department spent almost three months looking into an early February incident at a downtown hotel that involved Randle getting into a dispute with the mother of his child.

However, the investigation did not produce enough evidence against Randle for felony charges.

In a news release, the district attorney’s office stated: “The sufficiency of proof required in a criminal case is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. We find the nature of the available evidence in this instance is insufficient to meet that burden as to felony charges.

“The case may be referred by the Wichita Police Department to the City Prosecutor’s office for potential misdemeanor charges.”

Randle’s former girlfriend, Dalia Jacobs, accused him of threatening to “blast” her friend’s vehicle, in which their son was a passenger, after pointing a gun at the friend. She called 911 to report domestic violence with a weapon but, when police arrived, they did not find a weapon on the scene.

Randle denied the accusations in a statement through his attorney, Gary L. Ayers, days after the incident, and has not publicly commented on it since.

Randle was initially arrested and cited for marijuana possession after a small amount was found in the hotel room rented out to him, but that charge was eventually dismissed.

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @drewdavison

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