By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
"An aberration," Jerry Jones called it.
No. Here in the real world we refer to it as a "chronic behavioral disorder." Or, if you prefer, "punk syndrome."
Cowboys fans, you're too good—too loyal—to be subjected to Phillips' incredulous naïveté or Jerry's foolhardy machinations.
While Phillips—in one of the saddest, sorriest performances I've ever seen at Valley Ranch—responded to Pacman's incident by actually claiming he had no problem with the player being out drinking at 11 p.m. the night before the most important practice of the week, other coaches around the league said they would've handled it a tad differently.
Like the Cowboys' former coach: "He was already at the end of his rope," Jimmy Johnson said Sunday morning on Fox. "They've got to take responsibility and accountability and get rid of him."
Like, possibly, the Cowboys' future coach: "He was given a zero-tolerance mandate," Bill Cowher said Sunday morning on CBS. "Given that, if you don't do anything, you lose credibility."
Unlikely, but Goodell may do Jerry's dirty work for him. The commissioner, whose office is investigating, has repeatedly warned Pacman to "avoid situations where he might reflect poorly on himself, the Cowboys and the NFL." Lack of handcuffs and mug shots be damned, I say being questioned by police at 11 p.m. about an altercation involving alcohol and fighting reflects poorly on Pacman, the Cowboys and the NFL.
The NFL may suspend Pacman for a game, but I'm betting he'll get yet another chance to make fools out of two of the most powerful men in football. Because, the thing is, we all know this incident isn't Pacman's last. Regardless that his $700,000-a-year job is on the line, he can't keep a low profile.
Despite the reinstatement restraints, he's been scolded by the Cowboys for frequenting a Hooters. For jumping onstage at a Nelly concert. And for planning to co-host a charity volleyball tournament with the Mavericks' Brandon Bass.
I've heard from multiple sources that Pacman hangs out at the trendy Plano nightclub Martini Park. For the record, he has been well-behaved. But over and above all the cougars on the prowl, I recently saw a fight spill out the club's door and into the street. Arrests were made. Obviously the joint is on Jerry's approved list of establishments, but it seems a toxic environment for a known troublemaker.
In the end, Pacman hardly seems worth the ruckus. More than a third into the season we're still waiting for his first signature play. No interceptions. No game-changing highlights. Not a punt return longer than 18 yards. And against the Cardinals, he was beaten for a touchdown.
Yet there's his enabler, Jerry Jones, walking away from Pacman's five-alarm blaze shouting, "Move along! Nothing to see here!"
Said Jerry simply, "We need to get better."
Better on special teams. Better at quarterback. Better at receiver. Better at cornerback.
Better at rules enforcement.
Better, even, at bodyguard.