Cowboys Camp: Jones puts NFL on notice, Whiteheads strange saga

Jerry Jones says he sees nothing in terms of evidence against Ezekiel Elliott to suggest domestic violence.

Kirby Lee—X02835
Jul 24

OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones opened training camp by declaring war on the NFL in the ongoing investigation into domestic violence allegations against star running back Ezekiel Elliott.The NFL has ended its year-long investigation into the accusations brought against Elliott by a former girlfriend.The Columbus (Ohio) attorney’s office dropped the case because of “conflicting and inconsistent” information. Elliott has maintained his innocence all along.ESPN has reported that Elliott should brace for a one- or two-game suspension.But Jones let it be known at the start of training camp that Elliott did nothing wrong and he should not be punished.It was a clear-and-present message to the NFL that Jones is ready to fight if he is indeed suspended.”There’s nothing … I have reviewed everything as you know. There is absolutely nothing, not one thing, that I’ve seen that has anything to do with domestic violence,” Jones said. “I don’t want to answer any more. But I’ve seen nothing.”Jones was absolute in his comments, just as he was a year ago. He has long maintained that the NFL had no cause and no case.The only thing that has changed recently is the NFL has completed its report. Elliott and the NFL Players Association have submitted “a final response” to the league.Jones claims he has seen the report. Nothing has changed his mind.”I found nothing since we were standing here this time last year,” Jones said. “And I knew everything in that report, I knew that this time last year. Those are their concerns because you need to get this stuff behind you.”Jones not only claims that nothing happened, but that there is not a discrepancy among the participants.”My opinion is there is not even an issue of ‘he said, she said,'” Jones said. “There is not even an issue there.”The NFL doesn’t need a court conviction or even a court case to levy discipline against a player for conduct detrimental to the league.The league has taken a long time investigating this case to make sure it gets it right after so many past mistakes.According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the league “wants to pin something” on Elliott as a lesson for his repeated mistakes in judgement.But Jones is not going to let it happen without a fight.And he is seemingly not going to let his upcoming induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame get in the way of his battle with the NFL over Elliott.He brought up the New England Patriots as an example of a team that overcame the distraction of quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension last season and went on to win the Super Bowl.Seemingly, the bigger lesson for Jones comes from Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who admittedly regretted not fighting the NFL sanctions and penalties from the Deflategate controversy.”I don’t want to in any way speculate,” Jones said. “I don’t know that there’s anything I could say that might influence, but I don’t want anything I’ve said over the last week to be interpreted as a feeling or a speculation about his status, relative to a suspension. It shouldn’t be. It should be just reflective as what I am here and what I know.”Whitehead cleared of all wrongdoingAll charges have been dropped against former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead, and the Prince William County Police Department said Tuesday it regretted the impact its errors had bestowed upon Whitehead and his family.Whitehead, a native of Manassas, Va. whose full name is Rodney Darnell Whitehead Jr., was released by the Cowboys Monday after reports surfaced of his arrest last Saturday morning for shoplifting and his failure to show up for a court date earlier this month.However, Whitehead denied he was in the state of Virginia at the time of the arrest and claimed it was a case of mistaken identity, which Prince William County Police Sergeant Jonathan L. Perok confirmed Tuesday in a statement.”Upon reviewing the June 22, 2017 arrest of an individual named “Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.”, the police department is confident that the man charged with petit larceny, and who is subsequently being sought on an active warrant for failure to appear in court, is not Lucky Whitehead of the Dallas Cowboys,” Perok’s statement read in part.The department went on to say that the man did not have identification on him at the time of his June 22 arrest, but verbally provided his information to police officers.Officers then checked his information through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles database and used the DMV photo on file to compare to the man they had in custody.”… Officers acted in good faith that, at the time, the man in custody was the same man matching the information provided. At this point, the police department is also confident in confirming that Mr. Whitehead’s identity was falsely provided to police during the investigation. The police department is currently seeking the identity of the man involved in the incident.”Whitehead was in Dallas at the time of the arrest, according to his ticket for a United flight that departed at 7:18 a.m. and landed in Washington, DC at 11:30 a.m., 10 hours after the crime allegedly took place.”To be honest, I just couldn’t believe it,” Cowboys star wide receiver Dez Bryant told reporters after the Cowboys released Whitehead. “I pray it’s not true, and I understand he got cut. I wish the best for him.”Whitehead, 24, spent the first two seasons of his NFL career with the Cowboys and played primarily as a kick/punt returner.