Cowboys Kick Lucky Whitehead in the Back on His Way Out the Door

Lucky Whitehead, wearing a propeller hat, was on the same team as Darren McFadden at Dirk Nowitzki's celebrity baseball game earlier this year.
Lucky Whitehead, wearing a propeller hat, was on the same team as Darren McFadden at Dirk Nowitzki's celebrity baseball game earlier this year. Mikel Galicia
On Tuesday, the Dallas Cowboys made it clear that they are content to make an example out of Lucky Whitehead. Following the team's decision Monday afternoon to cut Whitehead, the Cowboys learned Tuesday that the alleged wrong for which they'd released Whitehead — a shoplifting arrest in Prince William County, Virginia — amounted to a case of mistaken identity.

Rather than apologizing or otherwise making amends to the former wide receiver and punt returner, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett doubled down on the team's decision to dump Whitehead during a bizarre press conference Tuesday afternoon.

"Yesterday, we made a decision that we deemed to be in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys. We're standing by that decision, and we're going to move on," Garrett repeated, in whole or in part, 10 times throughout the press conference. He never gave an answer of any substance about the Cowboys' decision regarding Whitehead.


Audio of Jason Garrett's Tuesday press conference.

Garrett slipped up just once, when a member of the team's traveling press corps asked whether the team knew something about Whitehead that the public didn't.

"We know a lot of things about our players that you guys don't know," Garrett said. "I think the best thing for Lucky is to have a clean slate, and he'll have an opportunity somewhere else that's good for him."

Whitehead, made expendable when the team drafted wide receiver and punt returner Ryan Switzer from North Carolina in the fourth round of April's NFL draft, is not returning to the Cowboys because, essentially, a guy who looked sort of like him gave Whitehead's information to police when he was busted for stealing about $40 worth of merchandise from a convenience store. The police department apologized, but the Cowboys won't be doing so.

Dale Hansen, sports director at Dallas' WFAA-TV (Channel 8), walked out of Tuesday's press conference. On Twitter later, he called it the "dumbest press conference" he's seen. Whitehead's release for not shoplifting comes as a bevy of Cowboys players continue to get ready for the season despite their disciplinary issues. Ezekiel Elliott, the team's star running back, remains under league investigation for domestic violence allegations made against him in 2016. Dallas police arrested cornerback Nolan Carroll for driving while intoxicated May 30.

Defensive end David Irving is suspended for the first four games of the regular season after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs and linebacker Damien Wilson is awaiting trial on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly brandishing a rifle at two people after a dispute over a parking space.
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young