I have shared with you the history of most Washingtonians and their attitude toward the Dallas Cowboys. It is a heated rivalry, and my wife was on the Washington bandwagon.  She bleeds burgundy and gold, and the mention of the Cowboys in her presence will get you treated to the stink eye. I have also shared her 180 turnaround in fanhood ever since Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have joined the ‘Boys down in the Lone Star State.


More recently, there seems to be a lot of grumbling when the Cowboys are mentioned, because of the path Elliott seems to be on lately. Mrs. L is the nemesis of bad behavior, and Zeke seems to be headed down a path of self-destruction.

When it was reported that Zeke had a brush with the law over abusive acts towards his girlfriend, my spouse lost it. She isn’t one to employ bad language, but her comments warrant censorship.

Upon reflection, I can see history repeating. I have been around for more than a minute and I have seen players with rock star admiration. I have noticed that when you misbehave, society is quick to judge and slow to forgive. Back in the day, Alex Karras was a defensive phenom for the Detroit Lions and Paul Hornug (The Golden Boy) carried the mail for the Green Bay Packers. They were stars and the public loved them. Then they were convicted of betting on games and dismissed from football for a year. They came back, but the fleas were still attached to their reputations. It took awhile, but Hornug made it to the Hall of Fame and Karras made it to Hollywood.

If you are a fan of football, I am sure you witnessed Mike Vick’s star explode. Mike was found guilty of running a dog-fighting operation and sentenced to spend some time behind locked doors. He came back, but his status as a human highlight reel was tarnished. He played for a few teams, but the public seemed to take on a ho-hum attitude.

Pac Man Jones was a shut-down cornerback for the Tennessee Titans. People started mentioning him in the same sentence with Deion Sanders. But Pac Man’s ego drove him to some undesirable actions, and when he decided to make it rain in a club with a shower of dollar bills which created a minor riot, he was asked to take a seat from the NFL and he became a leper to the fans. He eventually worked his way back to the league and has played at a high level for several teams. 

Johnny Manziel was a first-round draft choice, and he touted himself as a superstar. For all intents and purposes, Johnny was a flop and has faced issues with substance abuse. He has done a little traveling from team to team, but if he plays again, I think a hit from one of those 200-plus pound blitzers will send him back to the meds.

I want to remind Zeke that Ray Rice went a few rounds with his girlfriend and as a consequence hasn’t seen the football field since. The public has a low tolerance for crap, and in their eyes, striking a woman is at the top of the crap pile.

Zeke has been hanging out with rapper Meek Mill. As long as he stays out of trouble, that’s okay, but as soon as he stubs his toe the house is going to come crashing down.  He is already in the dog house with the Jones family after he jumped into a Salvation Army pot after a touchdown late last season. That is owner Jerry Jones’ daughter’s pet project and Zeke’s actions were viewed as blasphemy.

My advice to Zeek is, don’t let your actions write a check your butt can’t cash. Remember you are in Texas. Beware of the dude with the badge and the big white hat who will explain, “You’re in a heap of trouble, boy.” Tack on the fact that the Boss’s wife is a Tony Romo fan, and she ain’t feeling you or Dak.  Don’t wind up at the bus station with a ticket in your hand, wondering, “How did I get here?”


Tim Lacy

Special to the AFRO