The Dallas Cowboys are America’s Team, Five-time Super Bowl champions, and arguably the most polarizing sports franchise in the world. Everyone seems to either love the Cowboys or despise them; there’s no in between. Love them or hate them, you must respect the way that Jerry Jones has made them a global brand which has also raised the profile of the NFL. The Cowboys can claim something that neither the Yankees, the Patriots, Manchester United nor any other sports team can claim: the Cowboys are the most valuable sports team in the world according to Forbes.
They have had some of the biggest names, and personalities, in the sport. From Roger Staubach and Tony Dorsett to The Triplets to the current team featuring Dak, Dez, and Zeke; there has never been a lack of star power in Big D. The success of the players has also correlated to team success as the Cowboys own the highest all-time win percentage in NFL history and no team has made the playoffs more times than their 32 appearances.
Those are the things that Jones, Roger Goodell, and company want you to know about the Cowboys. But there are skeletons in the closet of many of the aforementioned players that have been kept under wraps for years. There have been suicide attempts, rape allegations, and multiple manslaughter convictions against some of your favorite Cowboys. Jerry Jones covered lots of things in his 40 minute Hall of Fame speech but he forgot to mention these things. Here are 15 disturbing things you didn’t know about the Dallas Cowboys.
15. Michael Irvin Stabbed A Teammate In The Neck With A Pair Of Scissors
Like most teams, the Cowboys have a barber who cuts the hair of most of the players. One day in 1998 Michael Irvin and 325 pound guard Everett McIver got into an argument over who would get their hair cut next. What happened next is known as Scissor-gate.
Irvin took a pair of barber’s scissors and stabbed McIver in the neck. He needed stitches to repair a two-inch cut on the side of the neck but didn’t miss any games due to the injury. While this would be assault with a deadly weapon if it happened in yours or my barbershop; there weren’t charges filed in this situation. Jerry Jones apparently brokered a deal between Irvin and McIver in which The Playmaker paid a six-figure sum to his teammate. Irvin was on probation at the time and would have faced up to 20 years in prison if he was found to have violated his probation so paying that amount was definitely worth it. McIver has refused to discuss the situation which was apparently in the deal that Jones constructed as well.
14. A Cowboys Employee Was Sent To Jail After Lying About Players Sexually Assaulting Her
The mischief involving the Dallas Cowboys franchise isn’t just limited to the players or owner; run-of-the-mill employees are involved as well. In 1997 a make-up artist for the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders accused Michael Irvin and O-lineman Erik Williams of rape in Williams’ home. The woman claims that a gun was held to her head and the act was videotaped by Irvin. Both players strongly denied the allegations and Irvin said that he hadn’t been to Williams’ house in years. Another hole in the woman’s story was that her estranged husband said that she had fabricated rape claims before. Just 10 days after the allegations became public, the woman recanted her story and said she made it up. She ended up being charged with perjury and spent 90 days in jail.
13. Jerry Jones Ate At Tom Landry’s Favorite Restaurant The Day Before Firing Him
Even with all of the Hall of Famers that have suited up for the team, many still believe that coach Tom Landry is the greatest Cowboy ever. He was the first coach of the team, won two Super Bowls, and presided over the Cowboys as they were dubbed America’s Team. But on February 25, 1989 Jerry Jones became the new owner of the Cowboys and, thus, became Landry’s new boss. Jones celebrated that night by going to Mia’s Tex-Mex restaurant with his former Arkansas Razorbacks teammate, Jimmy Johnson. That very restaurant also happened to be coach Landry’s favorite place to eat and fewer than 24 hours later; Jones would fire Landry and replace him with Johnson.
Jones later pleaded ignorance in the fact that Landry would frequent that same spot but there was no doubt this was more than coincidental. Jones would later say that he would have not even bought the Cowboys unless he could fire Landry and install his former teammate as coach.
12. Deion Sanders Attempted Suicide While With The Cowboys
The year 1997 was a landmark year for Deion Sanders as he turned 30 years old, made his 5th All-Pro team, and revived his MLB career. But 1997 was also the year Deion’s life was falling apart off the fields as he even said he attempted suicide by driving his car off a cliff:
“I attempted suicide, but God had his hands on me,” Sanders said. “I ran the car off the cliff, and it was like a 40 . . . 30-foot drop. The car went down and hit and there wasn’t a scratch on me or on the car.”
Sanders says he was going about 65 or 70 MPH, drove off a cliff, and emerged without a scratch on him or the car?? Okay, Deion.
Cowboys haters would say that Deion tried to kill himself just so he didn’t have to play for Dallas anymore. But even if this story is exaggerated, this shows you that you can’t always believe that someone’s public persona is how they are privately. Deion cultivated the Prime Time image throughout his career but he clearly battled personal demons at the time and thankfully he was able to overcome them.
11. Skip Bayless Started A Rumor That Troy Aikman Was Gay
With Bayless now a part of FS1, he and Aikman are coworkers but their feud dates back to 1996. That was when Bayless was a sportswriter for The Dallas Morning News and wrote a book that implied that Aikman was homosexual. Not only did Bayless throw Aikman under the bus, but he did the same to coach Barry Switzer by saying that Switzer’s camp is the one that started the rumor that Aikman was gay. Bayless had no evidence from anyone that Aikman was gay, which he’s not, but he floated the idea in his book which meant that Aikman had to answer hundreds of questions on his sexual orientation. For the record, Aikman was married for 11 years before divorcing. He is currently engaged to a woman who was formerly married to the nephew of Jerry Jones…Keeping it all in the family.
10. Ezekiel Elliott Exposed A Woman At A Parade
By the time all the details about Elliott’s domestic violence investigation come out, he might be deserving of another entry on this list. For now, exposing a woman’s breast during a St. Patrick’s Day Parade will have to do. Elliott was next to the woman on the roof of a bar while she began motioning to her breasts. Zeke apparently thought that gave him permission to expose her so he pulled down her top and revealed one of her breasts. She quickly covered up and according to TMZ, she wasn’t bothered by the act and the two continued to hang out during the parade. Regardless, this wasn’t a good look for Elliott who just can’t seem…to keep his name…out of headlines. We’ll see if he now learns his lesson.
9. A 70-year-old Jerry Jones Was Caught Partying With Strippers
Playas gon’ play…
Despite being married for over 50 years, the owner/president/GM/sometimes-coach of the Cowboys likes to party with younger women. In 2014 some images emerged of Jones having fun with various women that were half his age. In some of the pictures he is fondling women and in other pictures they are fondling him. He is also photographed getting a lapdance from an unidentified blond woman and it’s crystal clear that none of the women in the photos are Mrs. Jones. When asked about the photos, Jones was as evasive as possible: “Someone has misrepresented photos taken at a restaurant five years ago for their own purposes. I’m just not going to comment on it.”
It was speculated that these photos were a part of some sort of extortion plot against Jones. No more information has come out on the photos but it wouldn’t surprise me if more of them emerged at a later date.
8. Dak Prescott Would Have Fit In With The ’90s Cowboys
Despite the NFL promoting Dak as a hard-working, humble player; he’s had his issues off the field as well. In fact, his troubles would have made him a perfect fit for the Cowboys of the 90s who were always dealing with turmoil. Before his senior year at Mississippi State, Dak and two of his MSU teammates were jumped while at spring break in Panama City. The attack was unprovoked but it was arguably worse than any beating Dak (in multi-colored shorts) has taken in his pro career:
Almost exactly one year later and while Dak was preparing for the NFL Draft, he was arrested for a DUI while in Starkville, MS. After a breathalyzer test showed an “invalid sample”, Dak was acquitted of the charges. Still, this hurt his draft stock and was a reason why the Cowboys were able to get him in the fourth round.
7. Dez Bryant’s Mother Would Have Fit In With The ’90s Cowboys
By now most people of aware that Jeff Ireland, the Dolphins general manager at the time, asked Dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute and if his father was a pimp during a pre-draft interview. While Bryant’s mother is/was not a prostitute, she has had several run-ins with the law that are reminiscent of the mid-90s Cowboys.
– In 1997 she served 18 months in prison for selling crack cocaine.
– In 2008 she plead guilty to supplying false information about herself to a police officer.
– In 2009 she was again arrested for crack cocaine and was put on probation for 10 years.
6. The White House
Imagine if social media and the over-analyzation of everything existed back in the mid-90s. How big of a story would the Cowboys’ White House been back then? The house was, quite simply, a haven for the players to have orgies and do drugs. Michael Irvin had reportedly even installed hidden cameras throughout the house as he liked to watch as well as participate. Why go to the strip club when you can bring the strip club to you? The Cowboys didn’t even try to hide the fact that they bought this house solely for debauchery as the house was right next to their practice quarters at Valley Ranch!
One of the neighbors described what she often saw at the house as “women running around in their birthday suits.” Another neighbor said this about the house “At first it was kind of cool to have all these Cowboys around the neighborhood, but I got disenchanted real quickly. It was obvious what was going on, and it just didn’t look right.”
5. Josh Brent’s DUI Also Killed Teammate Jerry Brown
In 2009 defensive lineman Josh Brent was charged with a DUI, sentenced to two years of probation, and spent 60 days in jail. But that apparently wasn’t enough to stop him from driving drunk as three years later he got behind the wheel while intoxicated, crashed his car, and killed teammate Jerry Brown who was in the passenger seat. Police records say Brent was driving at least 110 MPH and the car flipped and then was engulfed in flames. Brent was trying to pull Brown out of the car when the police arrived on the scene.
The Cowboys had a game the next day and after defeating the Bengals, they gave the game ball to Brown’s mother. Brent would be indicted for intoxication manslaughter and was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years probation. Brent briefly retired after the ordeal and then briefly made a comeback. He retired for good in 2015 and the Cowboys rewarded Brent for killing a teammate by hiring him to their scouting department.
4. Nate Newton Was Found With 388 Pounds Of MJ
There have been maybe no better guard in football than Newton during his prime as he was a six-time Pro Bowler and three-time Super Bowl champion. But there also may have been no dumber criminal than Newton who was arrested twice for drug trafficking in the span of 6 weeks. On November 4, 2001 Newton was pulled over in Louisiana and was found to be in possession of 213 pounds of weed. Somehow, someway, Newton was allowed back on the street and on December 12, 2001 he was popped again and this time had 175 pounds of marijuana with him. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison for federal drug trafficking and it was there where he vowed to turn his life around and devote himself to God.
Newton would later say that he stood to make up to $75,000 per each of the drug deals and also blamed the ordeals on his competitive nature: “I’ve always been competitive, I’ve always been in sports. I couldn’t see myself not being the biggest dope man.”
3. The Cowboys Signed A Player Convicted Of Child Molestation And Rape
When he was an 18-year-old senior in high school, Marcus Dixon was convicted of statutory rape and child molestation for having sex with a 15-year-old. There are various disputes as to whether the two were dating but under Georgia law that did not matter and he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Dixon was an honor student who lost his full-ride scholarship to Vanderbilt and instead was sent off to the Georgia penitentiary. But 15 months into his prison term, the Georgia Supreme Court overturned the child molestation conviction and upheld the statutory rape conviction. Thus, Dixon was released from prison and went on to play football at Hampton University. He was then signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cowboys in 2008 and played with them for two seasons before moving on to the Jets.
2. Dwayne Goodrich Killed Two People In A Hit-And-Run
Goodrich was a highly productive cornerback at the University of Tennessee and was on their national championship-winning team in 1998. He was then the fifth cornerback selected in the 2000 NFL Draft as the Cowboys grabbed him in the second round. He played 3 seasons for the team and made little impact but he is more known for what he did off the field.
In January 2003 he was involved in a hit-and-run in Dallas that killed two people. Those two individuals were actually trying to rescue another man from a burning car when they were struck. Goodrich saw the car that was burning and the car of the motorists trying to help and tried to swerve between the two vehicles. Goodrich actually struck three people but one of them survived. He was convicted on two counts of criminally negligent homicide and spent eight years in jail. Goodrich was released in October 2011.
1. C.J. Spillman Committed Rape On A Saturday And Played On Sunday
C.J. Spillman signed with the Cowboys on August 31, 2014 and within three weeks he was already the subject of a sexual assault investigation. Yet, despite the team knowing about Spillman’s criminal investigation, the team allowed him to play every regular season and postseason game of the 2014 season. For road games, the Cowboys normally stay at a plush resort in Dallas before flying out to meet their opponents. In the early morning hours on the Saturday prior to their Week 3 game vs. the Rams, Spillman raped a woman at that resort. He then boarded the plane with his teammates and flew to St. Louis.
The Cowboys were notified by the authorities about the circumstances regarding Spillman and what did they decide to do? They let Spillman play against the Rams and in every game thereafter. After spending the 2015 season out of football, Spillman went to trial where he was convicted of sexual assault in 2016 and sentenced to five years in prison.
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