The Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones have never shied away from gambling on players with character concerns. They’re not the only team to give second chances to players but they seem to find it a market inefficiency in the talent acquisition business. This year is no different.
First-round pick Micah Parsons was named (but not the defendant) in a lawsuit by a former Penn State teammate that alleged hazing and sexual assault. Kelvin Joseph was only available in the second round because of dust-ups with two different coaching staffs in college, and being asked to leave LSU. Pick No. 138 is a different kind of concern. Offensive tackle Josh Ball was removed from Florida State University after being found guilty of dating violence, something the victim said occurred 11 different times.
Upon departure from FSU, he posted these pics, explaining why he wasn’t returning, and saying he is “an advocate of women’s rights, equality, and due process.”
His accuser, per the Orl. Sentinel, said the fact that he had a chance to return to FSU was “a physical threat” to her. pic.twitter.com/tOAGKMnUQS
— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) May 1, 2021
For those hoping he’s prepared to answer for his past, here’s his response while on The Draft Show shortly after being selected:
“The past is the past and everybody’s moved on so I don’t really have a comment on all that.” – Josh Ball with us. Bad answer to me if allegations are true. Some people don’t get to move on from that trauma so easily.
— Jeff Cavanaugh (@JC1053) May 1, 2021
Later, Ball had a more apropos response when asked.
A woman accused new Cowboys OT Josh Ball of 11 incidents of misconduct, some involving physical harm, from July 30, 2016, to Sept. 23, 2017, while at Florida State. Ball today: “There are certain things that I’ve done mentally for me to grow as a human and as a man.”
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) May 1, 2021
It’s definitely a departure from the previous regime who placed a high level of importance on character with former head coach Jason Garrett calling them “Right Kind of Guys” or “RKGs” for short. The amount of homework done on any of the players will never be fully known, but the swift reversal in in philosophy is certainly noteworthy.