ARLINGTON (105.3 THE FAN) – Adopting a “Circle of Life’’ philosophy is a coping mechanism that is allowing the Dallas Cowboys to push on, even as today’s visit from the Pittsburgh Steelers will be filled with reminders of recent tragedy.
The Jevon Belcher murder/suicide in Kansas City created a league-wide sadness. This week’s mass murder of school children in Newtown, Conn., is being recognized with a moment of silence to start all NFL games, including before the 3:25 kickoff at Cowboys Stadium. And the Cowboys will wear a No. 53 decal on their helmets today and for the rest of the season to honor the memory of practice-squad linebacker Jerry Brown, killed last week in a single-car accident in which teammate Josh Brent has been charged with intoxication manslaughter.
But the game’s push on, and life does, too – and at least one Cowboys player is pushing on safely.
I’m told that Cowboys tackle Tyron Smith celebrated his 22nd birthday on Friday with friends and family (including “a few teammates’’) by renting a “party bus’’ to guide the group through its visits to an assortment of nightspots. It’s just one guy on a team of 53 … and it’s just one wise decision amid a league full of available positive and negative decisions.
But it’s a start – and a positive reflection on a Cowboys team that owner Jerry Jones says is atypical when it comes to attempts to guide it’s players in a wise and safe direction.
Jones tells us that the team has a full-time on-call driver available for late-night emergencies and pickup service, a program designed specifically to avoid drinking-and-driving incidents.
“We have two limo services on stand-by and a full-time staff person on call 24 hours/seven days a week to pick up players,” Jones says. “That person has been called seven times this year.”
Jones’ statement suggests that those seven calls represent a high number; in fact, given the number of times 53 men may have, over the course of 14 weeks this season, imbibed to excess, seven is a stunningly low number.
But it’s a start, as is Tyron Smith’s wise and safe decision to keep the “Circle of Life’’ circling in a positive direction.
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