Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett: 'We believe in' our players despite offseason issues
As his team’s rookies reported for training camp Wednesday, Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett defended the character of his team in the wake of a tumultuous offseason.
Star running back Ezekiel Elliott, already under NFL investigation for multiple allegations of domestic violence, was reportedly involved in an altercation at a Dallas nightclub Sunday, though police suspended their investigation Wednesday afternoon. Two defensive linemen have been slapped with drug-related suspensions (David Irving will miss four games, while Randy Gregory is banned for all of 2017).
“We’ve had some incidents here in the offseason that we’ve had to address. But if we didn’t believe in the players who were involved in the incidents, they wouldn’t be with our team. We believe in them. It doesn’t mean they’re infallible. It’s our job to respond the right way, hold them accountable, hold themselves accountable,” Garrett told reporters at team headquarters in Frisco, Texas.
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“The standards are high here. We believe we have the right kind of guys on our football team. We believe very strongly in the character of our football team. But that doesn’t mean people aren’t going to make mistakes. It’s our job to respond the right way.”
Garrett said he has not spoken to Elliott since Sunday’s incident. A man suffered a broken nose in an altercation at a club, and ESPN and Dallas’ 105.3 The Fan reported that Elliott was involved. The running back was not named in the initial report filed by Dallas police.
Elliott was also caught on video pulling up a woman’s shirt at a St. Patrick’s Day parade in March and in April was cited for driving 100 miles per hour.
“Zeke is someone we believe very strongly in as a person and a football player," said Garrett.
"We continue to believe in him and try to put a structure around him and all of our players and help them make great decisions and grow on and off the field."
Cowboys veterans will report to training camp Saturday in Oxnard, Calif.
Follow Lindsay H. Jones on Twitter @bylindsayhjones
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