This week, the Dallas Cowboys were in Seattle for a preseason game against the Seahawks. During his down time before the game, Dallas rookie Ezekiel Elliott decided to see some of the local sights—including, apparently, a weed dispensary called Herban Legends. TMZ has the video, because smart phones have turned everyone into surveillance monsters.
Now, marijuana is a banned substance in the NFL, but according to TMZ (and presumably Elliott, were anyone to ask) he didn't purchase anything. Only that hasn't stopped Jerry Jones from expressing his displeasure about the situation, because nobody in the league is more sensitive to optics than the owner of America's Team.
"It's not good. It's just not good. It's just not good," Jones told reporters after the Thursday night game, which the Cowboys lost. The team has indicated that they believe and support Elliott's story, but that still leaves some room for certain concern-trolling billionaires.
"Again, that's a part of just really getting the big picture here," he continued. "No matter if you played at whatever level, there is a picture here of interest. So again, I'm aware of it. I heard the report. I would know how he is, and he needs to look at that. And the other thing is it's just not good."
Thanks, Jerry. You know where else there was a picture of interest? When Deadspin published photos documenting the injuries that Nicole Holder suffered at the hand of your former reclamation project, Greg Hardy, last year. Fortunately for both of you, Hardy had gotten off on a technicality in the criminal proceedings stemming from that assault. He got a relative slap on the wrist from a league that still barely has a clue on how to handle domestic violence; you got to fill a hole in your defensive line on the relative cheap.
And when Hardy, given an opportunity to show at least some remorse or self-awareness, continued to squander that second chance last season, you continued not only to tolerate it but to defend him. After he told reporters in the locker room that he would come out "guns blazin'"—which many considered to be a poor choice of words given the accusations that he threw his ex-girlfriend onto a pile of assault rifles—you told Sports Illustrated, "Well, you're not allowed to have guns on the football field. We all know that's just a way of expressing yourself. I hope his guns are ablazin'." And when he leered to reporters about Gisele Bundchen before facing Tom Brady and the Patriots, your only response was: "When I saw him marry her [Gisele], Tom went up in my eyes 100 percent. She's very very attractive and it shows what an outstanding individual Tom is."
Flash forward one month and a few photographs on Deadspin. You had nothing to say about what the bruises all over Nicole Holder's body showed about Hardy's character. Your carefully worded statement condemned domestic violence about as strongly as a middle school teacher does on passing notes in class: "We take this very seriously. We don't condone such behavior. Please see me after class."
So, Jerry, if not even 12 months later you're going to give a player shit for stepping foot inside a local, legal business just to take a look-see, you can shut the fuck up. Yes, maybe going into a pot shop isn't the smartest idea when you work in a league that's as jumpy around weed as the NFL is. Yes, a rookie might want to think a little more about the perfect storm of TMZ, slow August news days, and our celebrity surveillance state before he acts if he wants to impress his new employer. But the last person that Ezekiel Elliott should regard as a role model when it comes to good judgment is Jerry Goddamned Jones.