Once the Dallas Cowboys reported to training camp on July 22, the team seemed to stay in the news cycle. Whether you love them or hate them, the Cowboys are an easy conversation starter. From the sports pages to the news pages to the business pages, the Cowboys draw attention from all over. The team even added a political twist this season with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Here’s a look back at a few headlines and the headline makers:
Tackle Tyron Smith signs an eight-year contract extension worth $97.6 million. Combined with the two years and $10 million left from his rookie contract, the total package is worth $109 million. It’s the biggest non-quarterback deal in club history.
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Starting cornerback Orlando Scandrick is suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the league’s drug policy. It is later rescinded, after the NFL approves a new drug policy, and Scandrick misses only two games.
Cowboys announce a partnership with Swiss watchmaker Hublot, prompting owner Jerry Jones to say, “We’re the glitz and glamour of the NFL.” Hublot says it is designing three luxury Cowboys watches that range in price from $18,300 to $25,200,
Reserve safety Jakar Hamilton is suspended for the first four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
An ESPN Magazine profile on owner Jerry Jones includes material that Jones had a phone conversation with Adrian Peterson, who expressed interest in finishing his career with the Cowboys. Reports of possible tampering charges surface, but never materialize. Minnesota does not file a complaint.
The NFL conditionally reinstates defensive tackle Josh Brent, contingent on his serving a 10-game suspension for his January conviction on intoxication manslaughter in the death of teammate Jerry Brown in 2012.
Cowboys sign rookie defensive end Michael Sam, selected by the Rams as the first openly gay player to be drafted in the NFL, to their practice squad. He is released seven weeks later.
Dallas woman files sexual assault charges against Jerry Jones and sues him for more than $1 million. Five weeks later, the lawsuit is dismissed.
Starting cornerback Morris Claiborne skips a position meeting then angrily bolts Valley Ranch after learning he would be benched in favor of Orlando Scandrick. Five days later, he starts against New Orleans at nickel back but is lost for the season with a torn patella tendon.
Grapevine police reports surface that defensive back C.J. Spillman has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman Sept. 20 at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center. A week later, the New York Daily News reports that Spillman was accused of attempted rape in December 2013 in Santa Clara, Calif., while playing for the San Francisco 49ers. He is not arrested or charged in either situation.
Running back Joseph Randle is arrested for shoplifting a two-pack of Polo underwear and a tester bottle of Gucci Guilty Black cologne at a Dillard’s Department Store in Frisco. Total value of the Class B misdemeanor theft is $123.50.
News follows the Cowboys, even out of the country. A report surfaces on the morning of the Cowboys-Jaguars game at Wembley Stadium in London that 20 or more players missed curfew on Friday night. Jerry Jones takes the blame because he hosted a party that night that ran past midnight. It’s against the National Football League Players Association rules to have a curfew during the week. After the Cowboys win the game, the report and story die.
The Cowboys announce that the name for the development that will include its new headquarters will be The Star in Frisco. The team is expected to move in fall 2016.
Six players are named to the Pro Bowl, all on offense. They are quarterback Tony Romo, wide receiver Dez Bryant, running back DeMarco Murray, tackle Tyron Smith, center Travis Frederick and rookie guard Zack Martin.
Six players are named to the All-Pro team. Four of them, Dez Bryant, DeMarco Murray, Tyron Smith and Zack Martin, are named to the first team. Tony Romo and Travis Frederick are named to the second team.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Cowboys fan, creates a political stir when he is caught hugging owner Jerry Jones and son Stephen Jones during the Cowboys’ 24-20 wild-card victory over Detroit at AT&T Stadium. Christie had attended three previous Cowboys games this season. Two days after the Detroit game, a joint New Jersey legislature committee considers looking into the free tickets and travel that the Cowboys provided for Christie to attend the game and how the New Jersey Port Authority awarded a contract to a firm partly owned by the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys coaching staff, along with the Baltimore Ravens staff, is selected to lead the Pro Bowl teams. The Pro Bowl is Jan. 25 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona, site of Super Bowl XLIX.
Cowboys owner and GM Jerry Jones is named 2014 NFL Executive of the Year by the Pro Football Writers Association. For years, Jones was the punchline for most of the Cowboys failures, but this season, he is being credited for his work in the NFL Draft and the off-season rebuilding of the Cowboys roster, which results in a 12-4 record, NFC East title and the team’s first playoff win since 2009.