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Thursday, October 9, 2008
Phillips says Pacman will play Sunday for Cowboys

ESPN.com news services

Dallas Cowboys coach Wade Phillips confirmed Adam "Pacman" Jones will play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

An internal investigation by the Cowboys into Adam Jones' latest incident concluded he was not in violation of his contract, or the understanding about conduct he had with owner Jerry Jones, a source told ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

Phillips also said he had no indication that Adam Jones would be suspended and Jerry Jones said the team didn't plan any discipline after the player got into a scuffle with his bodyguard Tuesday night in the bathroom of an upscale Dallas hotel. Police were called, but no charges were filed.

"They were literally kidding each other," Jerry Jones said Thursday. "They were jiving around ... and all of a sudden one of them starting saying some things, and here you go.

"I am very disappointed in that we're having to deal with this."

Phillips said he talked to the team about the incident Thursday morning.

"What I'm trying to do is get this team to focus on this game and the team that we are playing," Phillips said. "We're moving on in that direction."

An independent investigation by NFL security is under way but has not yet presented a report to commissioner Roger Goodell.

Jones, who practiced Thursday, was not in the locker room to address the incident, which police are calling a private matter that will not lead to charges.

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The Cowboys' Tank Johnson came to Jones' defense and said he didn't think Goodell would punish the Dallas cornerback, Matt Mosley writes. Blog

According to an investigation conducted by team security, the team official said Jones did get into a brief scuffle with the bodyguard who was assigned to the defensive back for a private event Tuesday night at a Dallas hotel.

The bodyguard, an off-duty policeman who is part of a security detail assigned to Jones, told team security that some "kidding around" and "playfulness" between himself and the player resulted in a brief scuffle in a restroom. A vanity mirror suffered minor damage.

A team official said the incident happened shortly after 11 p.m., although it has been reported that police were not called until 1:30 a.m.

Police determined that the incident did not merit any charges. Jones and his bodyguard, along with Jones' girlfriend and cousin, left the event together before midnight.

The head of security for the Cowboys delivered his findings to Jerry Jones, whom sources say is content in the belief the incident has been overblown. However, the owner has reminded the player that Adam Jones' reputation and prior incidents place him under the highest scrutiny.

"Before he joined the Cowboys, he built up a reservoir of doubt," Jerry Jones said. "He had created with his actions no benefit of the doubt."

Because of that, Jerry Jones knew when Adam Jones came to Dallas that something "could possibly happen." The owner never anticipated a scuffle with one of his own security people.

"I did not dream that we would get in a situation where we had all the structure in place and literally have an incident that casts lightly with him publicly or with the league that would involve the very people that you're doing the structure with," Jerry Jones said.

Adam Jones wasn't in the locker room Thursday when it was open to reporters.

Nose tackle Tank Johnson, who brought his own checkered past to Dallas, said the incident was overblown and that it wouldn't distract the team.

"This is not that big of a deal," Johnson said. "Nobody's in jail, nobody's in trouble, nobody's hurt. We're all here ready to practice, ready to work."

An empty locker separates the cubicles of Jones and Johnson, who missed the first eight games last season while serving an NFL suspension for a series of off-field problems. Johnson doesn't think Goodell will take any punitive action against the cornerback.

In an appearance on ESPN Radio on Thursday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league was trying to find out exactly what happened before rendering any decision.

"It's clear there was some type of an incident," Goodell said. "Once we do understand the facts then we can make a judgment."

Goodell said he was in Dallas on Wednesday, where he talked to the team but did not speak with Adam Jones individually.

"I'm disappointed that we're even discussing this at this point in time," he said.

Meanwhile in Dallas, Jones' teammate Tank Johnson, who also has been suspended under the personal conduct policy in the past, came to Jones' defense.

Standing in front of dozens of reporters and boom mikes, Johnson said the incident had been "blown out of proportion."

Johnson scolded one reporter and said he didn't think Goodell, a man he's quite familiar with, would take action.

"I think it's something we can handle in-house," Johnson said. "Sometimes you don't have to go to the principal's office. You can just handle it in the classroom."

Chris Mortensen is a senior NFL analyst for ESPN.com. ESPN.com's Matt Mosley and The Associated Press contributed to this report.