White­head calls Dal­las re­lease ‘shock­ing’

El Dorado News-Times - - Sports -

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Lucky White­head is fully fo­cused on foot­ball again af­ter a bizarre week dur­ing which he lost his job and was en­tan­gled in a cu­ri­ous le­gal sit­u­a­tion.

The wide re­ceiver-kick re­turner was claimed off waivers by the New York Jets on Wed­nes­day, two days af­ter the Dal­las Cow­boys cut him fol­low­ing a shoplift­ing charge in what turned out to be a case of mis­taken iden­tity.

"It's been crazy," White­head said af­ter prac­tice Sat­ur­day. "A lot's been go­ing on. I'm just happy to get an op­por­tu­nity to start over and clean my slate."

In June, a man used White­head's iden­tity to steal $40 worth of food and drink from a Vir­ginia con­ve­nience store. Af­ter re­ports sur­faced that White­head was ar­rested and sub­se­quently cited for miss­ing a court hear­ing, Dal­las re­leased him.

When the charges against White­head were an­nounced, his agent, Dave Rich, said White­head

wasn't in Vir­ginia at the time of the ar­rest. Po­lice sub­se­quently said they were seek­ing the man who used the name Rod­ney Dar­nell White­head Jr. — the re­ceiver's given name.

"It was very con­fus­ing," White­head said of be­ing cut by Dal­las. "I came off the field and found out that I had an ar­rest war­rant that I didn't know about. And, it was kind of shock­ing with the whole re­lease thing. That whole sit­u­a­tion, I was kind of just, (let's) fig­ure out what was go­ing on and clear my name. It was just kind of a twist."

White­head added that he still isn't quite sure why the Cow­boys parted ways with him af­ter two sea­sons. He played in in 30 games for Dal­las and av­er­aged 25.6 yards on 33 kick re­turns and 6.9 yards on 44 punt re­turns. White­head also had nine re­cep­tions.

"The ex­pla­na­tion? I don't think I re­ally got an ex­pla­na­tion," he said. "It's an un­for­tu­nate sit­u­a­tion and things hap­pen. I'm ex­cited to be here and I'm glad they gave me a chance to start over."

Dal­las ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent Stephen Jones and coach Ja­son Gar­rett said ear­lier this week that White­head's re­lease was an ac­cu­mu­la­tion of events. Gar­rett also ac­knowl­edged that the de­ci­sion came af­ter the Cow­boys did more work gath­er­ing in­for­ma­tion.

White­head was left at home last De­cem­ber for a game at the New York Giants af­ter miss­ing a team walk­through the pre­vi­ous day. He also in­volved in a car ac­ci­dent that Gar­rett found out about through me­dia re­ports.

The Jets are des­per­ate for help at re­ceiver and in the re­turn game, both ar­eas in which White­head could pro­vide a boost.

"I'll move on, try to build a chem­istry with th­ese guys here," White­head said. "I'm build­ing, I'm learn­ing . ... I can help them in any way I can. I'm go­ing to try to make this ros­ter and be a play­maker."

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