The Dallas Cowboys are known for a lot of things: eight Super Bowl appearances, the hottest cheerleaders in sports, the grandiosity that comes with being held out as "America's Team." But no Dallas welcome would be complete without a map that guides Super Bowl fans to some of the locales that commemorate the off-field antics of players who thought they could get away with just about anything. And some of them just about did.
Who can forget Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson taking a 17-year-old paraplegic and her 15-year-old friend hostage at gunpoint and sexually assaulting them while hopped up on crack? Yet virtue has its own reward: After doing his time and turning clean and sober, he won $28 million in the Texas lottery. He also became a motivational speaker.
Defensive lineman Larry Bethea suffered a far different fate. After being charged with assaulting his wife and stealing $64,000 from his mother—her entire life savings—he became a suspect in two armed robberies and then killed himself with a gunshot to the head.
While these heinous acts occurred elsewhere, we had little trouble digging up the 12 dirtiest Cowboy deeds that happened right here in North Texas. So if you've got some time to kill before the Big Game, we recommend a driving tour to the various crime scenes. It's the best way to see the sights. Very quickly, it becomes apparent that new players signing with the Cowboys should insist on prepaid legal insurance.
1. Nate Newton
In December 2001, six weeks after he was busted with 213 pounds of pot during a routine traffic stop in Louisiana, Nate Newton, the six-time Pro Bowl guard, was arrested by the feds with another 175 pounds on I-45 in Ellis County. He pleaded guilty to both charges, served 32 months behind bars and was fined $25,000. After prison, the gregarious Newton charmed his way back into the hearts of fans, became a sports radio host, gave up pot and lost 175 pounds after his munchie cravings finally subsided. He also became a motivational speaker.
2. Bob Hayes
Former Cowboys wide receiver "Bullet" Bob Hayes sold cocaine and Quaaludes to police officers during an undercover sting in 1978. He admitted to snorting coke during his playing days, pleaded guilty to three drug charges and served 10 months in prison. His cocaine use had nothing to do with him being "the world's fastest human" and everything to do with his arrest record. He was the only athlete ever to win an Olympic gold medal and a Super Bowl ring. He made amends with the football world, which inducted him into the Hall of Fame—but only posthumously in 2009.
3. Barry Switzer
Headed back to the team's Austin training facilities in August 1997, then-Cowboys head coach Barry Switzer was going through security at D/FW International Airport when an X-ray machine found a loaded Smith and Wesson .38-caliber revolver in his duffel bag. He claimed he simply forgot to remove it, but Switzer pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year probation, 80 hours of community service and a $3,500 fine. Switzer may have done the community a service when he resigned at the end of the season after the Cowboys went 6–10, which was the same record they had this year.
4. Rafael Septien
In December 1986, in Coppell, near the Cowboys practice facility, kicker Raphael Septien, whose nine-year career with the Cowboys included an appearance in Super Bowl XIII, sexually assaulted his neighbor's 10-year-old daughter. He pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of indecency with a child and received 10 years probation, which seemed an uncharacteristically light punishment. The Cowboys released Septien the day after his plea, and he currently resides in Cancún, Mexico. For years, he sold hotel timeshares, which may be its own form of enhanced punishment.
5. Michael Irvin
Three-time Super Bowl winner Michael Irvin has a long rap sheet, but no arrest tops his 30th birthday celebration in 1996, when cops raided a hotel room at the Residence Inn in Las Colinas and found Irvin with a boatload of cocaine and marijuana, and two hookers who identified themselves as "self-employed models." Irvin seemed to be flaunting due process when he appeared before the grand jury dressed in a full-length mink coat and dark sunglasses. He later pleaded no contest to the possession charges and received four years probation. Then he apologized, got religion and got TV and radio sports talk gigs. He also gets $25,000 a pop as a motivational speaker.
6. Harvey Martin
Perennial nice guy Harvey Martin went from beating up quarterbacks as the co-MVP of Super Bowl XII to beating up his live-in girlfriend (a lot) in 1996. Officers called to the scene were met with resistance and a bunch of cocaine. Less than five months later, Martin kicked his girlfriend's ass again. He was sentenced to eight months in a treatment center. Following treatment, he remained clean and sober, making amends for years of drinking and drugging, claiming the old Harvey was buried "beneath the wreckage of my past." Before his death from pancreatic cancer in 2001, he also did some motivational speaking.
7. Terry Glenn
Former Cowboys receiver Terry Glenn has been busy of late, getting busted a few weeks ago in Denton County for DWI and pot possession. That comes only a year after being charged with auto theft, which his attorney labeled a "crock of garbage." But the garbage keeps mounting for Glenn, who only one year earlier, on January 25, 2009, was arrested for public intoxication and possession of marijuana. Police records have him running around the halls of the Extended Stay Deluxe Hotel in Irving, allegedly naked and drunk, alerting cops to the weed in his room.
Read more in our Visitors Guide: The Unofficial Visitors Guide to Dallas Stuff
8. Adam "Pac-Man" Jones
The Dallas Cowboys knew Adam "Pac-Man" Jones might be trouble, but owner Jerry Jones decided to take the chance on the talented cornerback with a penchant for assault, booze, drugs and patronizing a Las Vegas strip club when a lot of gunplay was going on. Jerry's trust in Pac-Man waned in 2008, his first and only season here. He got into an altercation inside the bathroom of the Joule hotel downtown, punching a man in the face that October. No charges were filed. Oh, and the man happened to be the bodyguard who the Cowboys hired to keep tabs on Pac-Man in the first place.
9. The White House
It was known as the "White House," a two-story brick residence in Irving where big-time Cowboys like Irvin and Newton allegedly came to play. Rather than risk being identified at a hotel, the White House became a place where sex, drugs and rock and roll could proceed in anonymity. But in the aftermath of Irvin's 1996 bust, the house got outed by a not-so-confidential informant who sold secretly recorded footage to the media. Despite books detailing rampant drug use and group sex, somehow the cops never found time to stop by.
10. Erik Williams
Former offensive tackle and three-time Super Bowler Erik Williams almost lost his career and his life on October 24, 1994, when he crashed into a guardrail while speeding in his Mercedes 600SL. He was charged with DWI and sentenced to two years probation. In the next two years, Williams would be cleared of rape allegations twice: The first involved the alleged sexual assault of 17-year-old girl at his home; the second, in 1996, involved a 23-year-old woman who accused Williams of rape, while Michael Irvin allegedly held a gun to her head. The woman later recanted and was charged with perjury.
11. Lance Rentzel
After former Cowboys wide receiver Lance Rentzel was busted in 1966 for exposing himself to a young girl at a playground in Minnesota, the Vikings traded him to Dallas. No matter that Rentzel was married to Joey Heatherton, one of the most beautiful actresses in Hollywood; four years later, he exposed himself to a 10-year-old girl in University Park. He was then traded to the Los Angeles Rams where he would (post divorce) date Victoria Principal, who would become Pamela Barnes Ewing in the hit TV series Dallas.
12. Dwayne Goodrich
While driving down I-35 at Walnut Hill Lane in his BMW 745i after stopping by two strip clubs (The Lodge and Silver City Cabaret), former Dallas cornerback Dwayne Goodrich struck three Good Samaritans. He killed two and severely injured another. Charged with two counts of manslaughter, a jury found him guilty in August 2003 of the lesser offense of criminally negligent homicide and sentenced him to seven-and-a-half years in the pen. A judge later tacked on five more years for failure to stop and render aid. Goodrich comes up for parole in 2011. Upon his release, he hopes to become a motivational speaker