- The Washington Times - Friday, April 13, 2007

First-year commissioner Roger Goodell’s disciplinary crackdown on player misbehavior off the field came in the wake of more than 50 arrests in the past 15 months, including six in the week before his Tuesday announcement of the lengthy suspensions of Tennessee cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones and Cincinnati receiver Chris Henry.

Surprisingly, the one-time NFL bad boys, the Dallas Cowboys, had only one player arrested in that span. That was safety Marcus Coleman, who was cut by no-nonsense former coach Bill Parcells soon after being arrested for driving while intoxicated.

Whether new Cowboys coach Wade Phillips, who was hired from San Diego, where the Chargers had numerous players in trouble with the law last year, will be as unforgiving as Parcells remains to be seen.

The most high-profile of the former Dallas bad boys, newly elected Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin, has advice for his successors in the high life and the fast lane.

“When you’re 23, 24, 25, you don’t think you will regret the things that you are doing,” Irvin, now a born-again Christian, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I’m 41, and I’m telling you — it’s what I tell these guys all the time — you are so going to regret this.”

Irvin pleaded no contest to cocaine possession charges in 1996 and remains a controversial figure despite his coming enshrinement.

“Nobody is going to let you live it down,” Irvin said. “Every time you walk in a room, this is what they’re thinking about. You don’t think this when you’re young because you have that ‘I’m invincible, and I can overcome anything.’ That mentality and that attitude is what makes you great on the football field, but the reality is [that] people do not have short-term memories.”

The closest thing the Cowboys have had to Irvin since in on-field talent as a receiver and as a magnet for criticism, Terrell Owens, was among the players at Valley Ranch last week for a conditioning and teaching program. Owens, recuperating from a second surgery in six weeks on a broken finger, probably won’t be cleared to start catching passes until training camp in July but was eager to begin learning new coordinator Jason Garrett’s offense.

Loyal soldier — Kansas City is shopping Trent Green and plans to give second-year quarterback Brodie Croyle every shot to win his job, but the 36-year-old Green was on hand for the start of offseason workouts.

“That’s what you love about the guy,” Chiefs coach Herm Edwards told the Kansas City Star. “He’s a pro. He should be here. Until something happens, he’s a Chief.”

If Green’s still on the block come August, Kansas City’s first two preseason games are against perhaps the most likely candidates for his services: Cleveland, where coach Romeo Crennel might well be wary of staking his job security on young Charlie Frye, and Miami, where Daunte Culpepper is coming off consecutive poor/injury-shortened years and to whom new coach Cam Cameron isn’t committed.

Smiling in Seattle — You didn’t any complaints from the Seahawks when the NFL canceled its first preseason game in China. Instead of traveling to Beijing to face New England, Seattle will play the usual four preseason games (only one off the West Coast) and will train at its home base in Kirkland, Wash., for the first time in 11 years.

In the spotlight for a change — The Bengals will open the season on national television for the first time in their 40-year history when they play host to AFC North rival Baltimore on Monday, Sept. 10. …

The New York Jets visit Dallas on Thanksgiving in their first Turkey Day game in 22 years. Arizona (then in St. Louis), New Orleans, Oakland, St. Louis (then in Los Angeles), San Diego and San Francisco all have gone longer without playing on Thanksgiving than the Jets. The Ravens, Carolina, Cincinnati, Houston Texans and Jacksonville have never played on Thanksgiving.

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