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Friday, August 29, 2008

NFL fully reinstates Dallas Cowboys cornerback Adam Jones

by TODD ARCHER / The Dallas Morning News

IRVING – On the day his mother, Deborah, and daughter, Zaniyah, arrived in Dallas, Adam Jones had his best day in a long time.


Seventeen months after he was suspended for violating the league's personal conduct policy and 20 months after his last game, Jones was reinstated by the NFL, officially making him a Cowboy. It ended months of wondering and started what he and the Cowboys hope is a fruitful relationship, beginning with the Sept. 7 season opener at Cleveland.

"I always wanted to be part of the star," Jones said before Thursday's preseason finale against Minnesota. "Thank God now I'm reinstated and fully a Dallas Cowboy."

The move nearly finalizes the April 27 trade between the Cowboys and Tennessee.

The Cowboys will owe the Titans a sixth-round pick next year provided Jones does not run afoul of the law during the season. The Titans would owe the Cowboys their fifth-rounder should Jones be sanctioned by the league again.

Jones will receive a $100,000 advance of the $700,000 base salary as part of the four-year, $13.3 million deal he signed this off-season.

"It's better than a baby step, but it's a first step," Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. "I'm glad we got this part done, but I'm reluctant to get too excited over, 'Well, look at what we've done.' That's not the attitude we have. I know it's day-by-day, week-by-week, and it all depends on him making good decisions."

Former Cowboys Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders have served as mentors to Jones. He also has a four-person security team on-call 24 hours a day. His teammates were happy the league made the decision.

"I'm proud of him, because it's hard to stay out of trouble when you're in trouble and trouble tends to find out," said nose tackle Tank Johnson, who served an eight-game suspension last year. "We're going to try and keep him on the straight and narrow, and he's going to make sure he's OK."

Given his history – six arrests since coming to the NFL in 2005 and 12 incidents – Jones will not make promises.

"Can I say I would never ever make a mistake? No, I can't say that," Jones said. "But I'll make sure I put myself in way better situations that I would have in the past."

On the field, Jones will serve as the Cowboys' third cornerback behind Anthony Henry and Terence Newman, plus he'll return punts.

Jones did not play against the Vikings – Wade Phillips decided to sit his regulars – but in three preseason games, he had eight tackles and a pass deflection. He also returned two punts for 42 yards.

"I've been waiting for this time for a long time, but it's not like we won the Super Bowl," he said. "I know my responsibility to play in the NFL, and I'm going to hold my own and do what I need to do to make sure I'm going to stay where I'm at right now, which is reinstated."


Season Player, team(s) Reason Duration
2007 Adam Jones, Tenn./Cowboys personal conduct full season
2006 Ricky Williams, Miami substance abuse full season
2006 Koren Robinson, Seattle substance abuse full season
2004 Darrell Russell, Oak./Wash. substance abuse full season
2003 Josh Evans, NY Jets substance abuse indefinite
2007 Chris Henry, Cincinnati personal conduct 8 games
2007 Tank Johnson, Chi./Cowboys personal conduct 8 games
2006 Albert Haynesworth, Tennesee on-field incident 5 games