Joseph Randle violated personal conduct policy, could be suspended

ByTodd Archer and Adam Schefter ESPN logo
Friday, October 30, 2015

At a time when the Cowboysare growing increasingly concerned about Joseph Randle, the Dallas running back is facing discipline for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.

Randle met with NFL investigators this summer and again within the past week, and the NFL determined that he violated the league's personal conduct policy, which will carry consequences. In a best-case scenario, Randle will be fined. More likely, he'll be suspended, possibly for multiple games, for a February incident in Wichita, Kansas, in which Randle was arrested for unlawful possession of marijuana after police received a call about domestic violence with a weapon after an incident with Randle and the mother of his son.

ESPN reported the story on Friday, citing multiple league sources. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones acknowledged Friday that the league is reviewing Randle.

According to the police report, the mother of Randle's son said Randle broke a car window in an argument and threatened her with a gun with their son nearby. In April, the charges were dropped, but although he's legally in the clear, Randle faced sanctions from the NFL.

It was the second time in four months Randle had been arrested.

Last October, he was arrested at a Frisco, Texas, mall and charged with shoplifting. He was attempting to steal underwear and a tester bottle of cologne. The Cowboys fined Randle an undisclosed amount, and he later apologized. In July, he was given six months' probation for the incident.

On Wednesday, Randle left the Cowboys' facility, but sources indicated the absence was about more than just losing his starting job toDarren McFadden.

Coach Jason Garrett said Thursday it is due to a personal issue and not related to losing his starting spot. Garrett would not discuss whether the absence had to do with potential NFL discipline. Randle was at the team's facility briefly Thursday morning, but Garrett said he did not meet with the running back. He spoke with Randle on a few occasions Wednesday during the day and after the player left the facility.

Randle did not practice Wednesday because of a strained oblique he suffered after two carries in Sunday's loss to the New York Giants. Initially, Randle was considered probable to return to the game. However, he was downgraded to doubtful and never returned. While he did not practice Wednesday, he went through rehab in full pads.

Garrett ruled Randle out for Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks. McFadden, who rushed for 152 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries against the Giants, will start.

Asked whether he considered Randle a viable option at running back going forward, Garrett said: "Don't really want to get into that situation very much. The biggest issue with Joe is take care of the injury, get himself healthy and hopefully work though some of these personal issues."

Randle started the first six games and has 315 yards and four touchdowns on 76 carries. The Cowboys previously lost running back Lance Dunbar to a torn ACL on Oct. 4 against the New Orleans Saints.

Christine Michael and Rod Smith are the only tailbacks on the roster behind McFadden. Michael has played in three games. Smith, who was claimed off waivers from Seattle on Oct. 14, is just starting to learn the Cowboys' offense. They will serve as backups to McFadden on Sunday.

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