ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP)—Adam “Pacman” Jones took a break from his friendly feud with Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall to get down to some serious business.
The Dallas Cowboys’ suspended cornerback said Thursday he’s sent a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell asking to be allowed to play this season.
“I think it should be successful, I did everything he asked me to do,” Jones said of the 1 1/2 -page letter he typed on a laptop computer and sent Wednesday night after the Cowboys’ joint workouts with the Broncos.
While Jones is allowed to play in preseason games, the Cowboys don’t know when they will find out if he will be fully reinstated for the regular season. Goodell has said only that a decision would come before the regular season.
“As part of the reinstatement review, he was given an opportunity to submit any relevant information he would like to provide. He was asked to do that by this Friday if he chose to do so,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an e-mail.
The league also wanted an update from Jones on what he’s doing to stay out of trouble.
Since his trade from the Tennessee Titans in the spring, Jones has participated in the Cowboys’ player development program and has tried to surround himself with better people. He’s also pledged to donate school uniforms to grade-schoolers in Dallas.
“I didn’t do them to influence the commissioner. I did them to better myself as a person,” Jones said. “They were normally things that I have been doing besides staying out of trouble. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
The NFL suspended Jones in April 2007 following an accumulation of arrests and legal problems. He has been arrested six times and involved in a dozen incidents requiring police intervention since the Titans drafted him in the first round in 2005.
Jones, who hasn’t played in an NFL game since the Titans’ season finale on Dec. 31, 2006, received partial reinstatement from the league on June 2 and was allowed to participate in the Cowboys’ practices, training camp and preseason games.
“Commissioner Goodell told Jones that his continued participation in the NFL depends on demonstrating that he can conduct himself in a lawful and reliable manner,” the NFL said in a June 2 statement. “Jones will be expected to continue the personal conduct program established by the NFL and the Cowboys and to avoid further adverse involvement with law enforcement.”
While the Cowboys are preparing for Jones to be their starting cornerback and punt returner, they’re also hedging their bets. They used a first-round pick on cornerback Michael Jenkins, who can also return kicks.
Although Jones hasn’t been a distraction at training camp, he has spiced things up during the joint practices with the Broncos this week by bantering back and forth with Marshall, the Broncos’ talented but troubled wide receiver who himself is petitioning the commissioner for leniency.
Marshall is appealing a three-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct code for a series of off-the-field missteps during a 12-month period beginning in March 2007.
Putting their suspensions aside, the two friends have had a spirited battle of words, gestures and actions during their lead-up to Saturday night’s preseason game at Invesco Field.
It began with Jones’ derisive dismissal of the comparisons between Marshall and Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens on Wednesday, when Jones said, “T.O. is 10 times faster than Brandon Marshall and 10 times stronger than Brandon Marshall.”
When the teams reconvened for their afternoon workout, Marshall had a retort taped to his shoulder pads that read: “21’s no Champ,” a reference to Broncos perennial Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey.
On Thursday, Marshall had another scribbled message for Jones: “Adam’s no Pacman.”
“Since he changed his name back to Adam, he’s not even Pacman,” Marshall explained. “He’s not even as good as Pacman used to be. … I told him to spice it up a little, stop letting me win.”
Jones argued that Marshall is putting too much weight on catches he makes during drills without a pass rush, and besides, he said Marshall keeps changing his routes when he sees who’s covering him.
While the Marshall-Jones battle has been all in good fun, tempers did flare Thursday when Broncos defensive lineman Marcus Thomas broke up a play in the Dallas backfield and Cowboys left tackle Flozell Adams found himself in the middle of a scrum that was quickly broken up.
“That’s all part of football,” Owens said. “When you get all this testosterone going out here, it gets a little out of hand.”