The 'Pacman' era has ended in Dallas

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

With a two-line press release Wednesday, the Dallas Cowboys ended their relationship with cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones. The laughter you're hearing is coming from the Tennessee Titans' practice facility, where they're preparing for a divisional playoff game against the Ravens.

This transaction won't be made official until Feb. 9 because of league rules. ESPN's Ed Werder is reporting that Jones' release was prompted by the club finding out about an upcoming "Outside the Lines" report that provides details on new allegations against the player during his time with the Titans. The NFL apparently knew about the allegations, which occurred two months after Jones was suspended for a year by the league, but charges were never brought against Jones.

Of course, the Cowboys should've cut their losses with Pacman following his Oct. 7 fight with a member of his own security detail in a posh hotel bathroom. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones brought Pacman back into the locker room after he served a six-game suspension. Jerry has maintained that team chemistry is overrated, and that's why he looked the other way while Pacman, Tank Johnson and T.O. were busy dividing his locker room.

According to a high-ranking club source, some members of the defense were stunned when Pacman leapfrogged rookie Mike Jenkins in his first game back after the suspension against the Steelers in December. He was injured in that game after muffing a punt.

After his team's embarrassing 44-6 loss to the Eagles, head coach Wade Phillips indicated there might be some personnel changes. But the only reason this news seems significant is because Pacman is such a controversial figure. He didn't do enough on the field to make up for all the negative attention he brought the team. It's too bad it took a report on a shooting incident that took place in July 2007 to finally make Jerry Jones do something.

The Cowboys' home for wayward players will also lose another resident when Johnson hits the free-agent market. Johnson was nothing more than a loud-mouthed backup, and he joined T.O. in constantly complaining behind the scenes.

Now, we can focus on the bigger offseason story line for the Cowboys: Will T.O. be back next season?

Jones has been telling everyone that releasing T.O. would hamper the club's ability to sign Pro Bowl linebacker DeMarcus Ware to a contract extension. That sounds like a good reason to keep the controversial wide receiver, but I think Jerry's using fuzzy numbers and logic. Experts at Valley Ranch have said the Cowboys wouldn't take a huge salary-cap hit if T.O. were released this offseason.

So far, the Cowboys have changed special-teams coaches and released Pacman Jones. It's a decent place to start, but they should keep going. As I've written before, T.O. might be one of the most divisive players in the history of the league.

Other than firing Wade Phillips and replacing him with Mike Shanahan, releasing T.O. is the best move Jones could make. Something tells me, however, Jones isn't going to go that route.

Bidding goodbye to players such as Pacman and Tank is just window-dressing. It remains to be seen whether Jones will make any meaningful changes.