Cow­boys run out of pa­tience with White­head

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS -

OX­NARD, Cal­i­for­nia — The Dallas Cow­boys re­leased re­ceiver and kick re­turner Lucky White­head on Mon­day af­ter the third-year player was linked to a shoplift­ing ar­rest in his home state of Vir­ginia, with his agent say­ing he be­lieves it was a case of mis­taken iden­tity.

White­head said he “didn’t know about that” as he was es­corted off the field by a mem­ber of the Cow­boys’ pub­lic-re­la­tions staff af­ter the first morn­ing walk­through prac­tice of training camp.

He was re­leased later in the day.

Po­lice Sgt Jonathan Perok said 25-year-old Rod­ney White­head was ar­rested around 1:30 am on June 22 for tak­ing about $40 worth of food and drinks from a con­ve­nience store.

Perok said he couldn’t con- firm that the man ar­rested was the Dallas re­ceiver, but on­line records matched his name and birth­date.

The Cow­boys’ me­dia guide lists White­head’s given first name of Rod­ney.

White­head’s agent, Dave Rich, de­nied his client was ar­rested, say­ing he didn’t ar­rive in Vir­ginia un­til about 10 hours af­ter the ar­rest.

Rich said White­head de­nied be­ing ar­rested.

The Cow­boys moved swiftly in re­leas­ing White­head af­ter two de­fen­sive play­ers were ar­rested dur­ing the off­sea­son.

Cor­ner­back Nolan Car­roll was ar­rested on a drunk-driv­ing charge in May, and line­backer Damien Wil­son on ag­gra­vated-as­sault charges in July.

Star run­ning back Ezekiel El­liott was in­volved in a bar fight in Dallas last week, but wasn’t named in the po­lice re­port.

“Af­ter all this stuff that’s hap­pened with the Dallas Cow­boys or­ga­ni­za­tion over the last two or three years, whether you’re a fan or not, you fol­low it,” Rich said.

“You don’t cut a guy like this af­ter hear­ing it un­less you don’t be­lieve him. They’ve given guys sec­ond chance af­ter sec­ond chance. They didn’t be­lieve my guy.”

Ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent of per­son­nel Stephen Jones dis­missed the idea that the Cow­boys were fi­nally tak­ing ac­tion against a player af­ter an off­sea­son filled with off-field trou­ble. He said the de­ci­sion on White­head was an ac­cu­mu­la­tion of in­ci­dents, without pro­vid­ing specifics.

White­head was late to a Satur­day walk-through be­fore a game at the New York Gi­ants last De­cem­ber, and coach Ja­son Gar­rett told him not to join the team flight. He was also in­volved in a car ac­ci­dent that Gar­rett learned about through me­dia re­ports.

“I don’t think it’s any­thing to do with any­body else,” Jones said. “I’m sure you’re aware he’s been in­volved in a lot of dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions over the past 12 months and we de­cided it was time.”

Gar­rett said any case of mis­taken iden­tity was be­side the point for the Cow­boys.

“In han­dling the sit­u­a­tion and eval­u­at­ing with the au­thor­i­ties there and in talk­ing to him, we just didn’t feel like it’s in the best in­ter­est of the Cow­boys to have him with us,” he said.

Gar­rett re­jected a com­pari- son be­tween the more se­ri­ous charges fac­ing Car­roll and Wil­son and the lesser one fac­ing White­head.

“We have a num­ber of play­ers who through their ca­reer, they’ve made mistakes,” Gar­rett said.

“We’ve held them ac­count­able. They’ve re­sponded the right way and they’ve done a great job for our team both on and off the field. If a player isn’t ready to re­spond to that, time and time again, it’s time to move on.”

The Cow­boys drafted Ryan Switzer in the fourth round, and he stood out dur­ing off­sea­son workouts while White­head nursed a ham­string in­jury. White­head’s ros­ter spot was al­ready in jeop­ardy.

“We feel like we’ve given Lucky a lot of dif­fer­ent chances along the way go­ing back to last year and I think just de­cided it was time to go in a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion,” Jones said.

Chicago Bears line­backer Jer­rell Free­man is be­ing hailed as a hero af­ter sav­ing a man from chok­ing on his food at a res­tau­rant air­port.

Free­man was en­joy­ing his meal at the Salt Lick Taco Bar in the air­port at Austin, Texas, on Sun­day when he no­ticed a man who ap­peared to be in dis­tress.

The man, Mar­cus Ryan, stood up quickly with a look of grave con­cern across his face.

Free­man told the Chicago Tribune an older wo­man un­suc­cess­fully tried to per­form the Heim­lich ma­neu­ver on Ryan, prompt­ing the 6-foot, 236-pound line­backer to jump into ac­tion.

“I’ve never done the Heim­lich be­fore, but it worked,” said Free­man.

Lucky White­head

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