The Dallas Cowboys will let C.J. Spillman remain on the team while he’s being investigated for an alleged sexual assault, with team officials saying they are letting the legal process play out.
This week, coach Jason Garrett said the team will keep Spillman on the active roster despite facing an investigation for an assault that allegedly took place in a Texas hotel room late last month.
“I think you have to be careful with just accusations and allegations in this situation,” Garrett said Thursday. “When someone is officially charged or arrested for something, that’s when it becomes a different situation in our minds. For now, he’s a member of our football team and will take part in everything we do to this point.”
The alleged incident took place before the team flew to St. Louis for a game against the Rams. Spillman, who is a special teams player for the Dallas Cowboys, played in that game, as well as the next contest against the New Orleans Saints.
The decision seems to be a bit of an about face for the Dallas Cowboys. The day before news of Spillman’s investigation broke, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said that the team would punish players who got into legal trouble.
“I think our head coach as well as our organization have been very clear with our players on domestic violence and on several other issues, that if you are involved and have this type of issue, you are going to be accountable,” Jones said, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “It means that you will not play. Due process is not enough now. As we have seen, certainly no one waiting to go through due process [thinks it] is fast enough.”
Spillman’s investigation is the latest high-profile incident for the NFL, following the Ray Rice controversy and child abuse charges against Adrian Peterson.
The Dallas Cowboys said C.J. Spillman will continue to practice and play unless he is formally charged.
[Image via USA Today]