A new book released yesterday by noted sports author Jeff Pearlman opens with a description of Hall-of-Fame receiver Michael Irvin slashing a teammate in the throat with a pair of scissors in the early ’90s, nearly killing him. According to an interview with Pearlman in the NEW YORK TIMES, Irvin attacked fellow Cowboy Everett McIver and the team paid McIver to stay mum on the incident so Irvin, who was on probation, wouldn’t face certain jail time.
The book, Boys Will Be Boys: The Glory Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty, documents the Aikman-Smith-Irvin era with no details spared. And while the Irvin incident is the book’s hook (it appears on the first page), it just scratches the surface of the shenanigans that group was involved in.
While Irvin’s transgressions are certainly disturbing, they might very well pale in comparison to what Charles Haley was doing on a regular basis. Via the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER:
How far the Cowboys were willing to go is detailed in the story of their star defensive end Haley, maybe the least house-trained player in NFL history. From Page 115: “On his first day at Valley Ranch, Haley arrived in the conference room for a defensive film session dressed only in a towel. ‘The next thing you know, Charles is lying naked on the floor in front of the screen, entertaining himself,’ said teammate Tony Casillas.” Pearlman gets a lot more graphic in explaining that this was a normal day for Haley.
A couple of other Haley tidbits, courtesy of KISSING SUZY KOLBER:
-Once in a team meeting, Haley came back from the bathroom, pulled down his shorts, wiped his ass, and threw his poopy toilet paper at 49ers linebacker coach John Marshall.
-During another team meeting, Haley whispered to teammate Scott Case, “Scott, turn around, I gotta show you something… Scott, dammit, turn around! You need to see this!” When Case turned around, according to Pearlman, he “saw Haley’s erect penis stretched across the desk.”
In the Times interview, Pearlman discusses that while nearly all the stories he tells in the book were relayed directly by Cowboy players, Emmitt Smith was particularly uncooperative:
…we were on Outside the Lines together on ESPN recently, and at the end of a lengthy session he cracked, “Go sell some books, Jeff.” The meaning behind the words was clear (”How dare you write a book on my team.”) and it annoyed me, because: A. I gave you 8,000 chances to talk; B. You haven’t even read the book; C. It was a last-second cheap shot; D. I was at Michael Irvin’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony last year, and so many Cowboy players were accessible—except for Smith, who had his own bodyguard ward off fans.
Pearlman’s previous subjects include Barry Bonds and the 1986 Mets, who probably come off looking like a bunch of Tim Duncans compared to these guys. And, unsurprisingly, it started all the way at the top. Jerry Jones is described as being an adulterer who used the team plane to shag club employees, and Jimmy Johnson was reportedly so consumed by football that he treated his own children “like third cousins.”
Fortunately, all of this is coming out as Jones tries to justify signing guys like Pac-Man Jones and Tank Johnson, who are sure to stay entirely on the straight and narrow as soon as they realize what you can do as a member of the Cowboys without punishment.