The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) is calling for teams to let the legal process play out before punishing a player for any alleged criminal conduct. Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett says no such patience will be found on his team.
In a recent interview with the Dallas Morning News, Garrett said any player charged with domestic violence will be barred immediately from playing in games.
“Part of what our jobs are as coaches is to create the right environment for our players to function both on and off the field,” Garrett said about his decision. “So we need to be clear about where we are. We need to be clear that we have a structure in place to help anybody who has any off-the-field issues.”
Garrett emphasized that his coaching staff will do everything they can to help a player with off the field issues.
“Me as a coach, position coaches, player programs, departments, we have a lot of resources here to help guys,” he says. “So that was the first message, if you’re dealing with anything off the field and we can help with, we’re here for you. Having said that, there are standards that we have about all off-the-field behavior and certainly domestic violence applies to that. We’re just very clear with how we’re going to handle things.”
Garrett’s message is particularly relevant now that one of his own players, defensive back C.J. Spillman, is being investigated in a sexual assault claim. Grapevine, Texas police spokesperson Sgt. Robert Eberling confirmed the investigation yesterday.
“We have a sexual assault report we are investigating at this time, and it does involve C.J. Spillman,” Eberling told the New York Daily News. “He is involved in the investigation. We are looking into the matter.”
Spillman has not been charged with any offense at this time.