Pacman Jones grows up

June, 26, 2012
6/26/12
9:41
AM ET
We're not sure about this headline on our blog this morning, but while I was on vacation I noticed Pacman Jones, the former Cowboys cornerback, was scheduled to speak with the incoming NFL rookie class at the yearly rookie symposium.

NFC rookies, including Cowboys first-round pick Morris Claiborne, arrived Sunday.

To see Jones, who plays for the Cincinnati Bengals, speak is a testament to how far he's come in his life.

"I'm at a point in my life where I'm not doing the same things that I used to," Jones told The Cincinnati Enquirer recently. "Now that I'm grown up, you are accountable for certain things. Everything you do reflects on you, and the consequences are yours."

To be honest, Jones was crazy.

He walked around as if he didn't have a care in the world and challenged anybody who held him accountable for things. During his brief time with the Cowboys, Jones was suspended for getting into a fight with his body guard, and his overall antics in the locker room wore down some of his teammates.

I remember speaking to Jones on the phone the night he got into a fight and he denied it ever happened. I also remember then-coach Wade Phillips telling reporters we were making stuff up regarding the fight. There was also Jerry Jones saying the fight between Jones and the bodyguard was just some horseplay, or "jiving" that caused minimal damage.

Of course, that was a long time ago, but Jones' actions from his past, including a terrible incident in 2007 at a Las Vegas strip club that left a bodyguard paralyzed, cost him $11 million in a lawsuit.

Jones' lawyers say he doesn't have $11 million and we believe them because of his excess spending habits over the years. But it seems Jones has matured some, enough at least to have him speak to NFL rookies.

What better person to talk about the issues NFL players, especially rookies, go through, than Jones?

"I want to tell them what I went through and hopefully not make the same mistakes that I made. Please don't do what I did," Jones said. "Keep a group of people with you. There are a lot of guys that come from the same background that I do who run into a whole bunch of money. They don't respect the money. If they don't, they will be in the same situation I was."
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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