Cowboys want NFL to re-examine substance-abuse policy

Para, 29, started the Cowboys' first four games, registering seven tackles and three QB pressures, but a nagging knee problem was too much.

The Cowboys believe it's time that the NFL and NFLPA re-evaluate the league's substance-abuse policy, team COO and VP Stephen Jones said in an interview that aired Thursday morning on NBC Sports Network's "PFT Live."

Jones, the son of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, echoed the tone his father voiced earlier this year when he reportedly suggested that the league take a look at its policy and potentially lift its ban on marijuana.

Stephen Jones says a top-to-bottom look at the policy ("you should take a look at every aspect of it") is in order, just as teams look at other facets of the league.

“Well, our system, our testing, has been in place for years and not unlike we do in our organization … we always look to see how we can do it better. I think Jerry’s opinion, my opinion, is this program, this system has been in place for a long time. I think it needs to be heavily scrutinized in terms of its results.

“Is it helping players in terms of their accountability? And, obviously, addiction is a sickness and you want to make sure — obviously, there’s accountability but it’s also a program that helps players get better. I think personally, I know Jerry and I think that it might could be done better and we just need to take a look at it. Like I said, it’s been the same program that’s been in place for many, many years and I think all things to do with the NFL, we should all want the very best for our players. We should want the very best for our organizations and we should want the very best for our fans, and that’s anything that has to do with the NFL.

“In my opinion, we should take a long hard look at how we’re doing this and see if there’s a way, a better way to do it. What that is, I don’t have the answer. But we have a lot of smart people that can get in there and analyze something and really make some good decisions and see if there need to be changes.”

The Cowboys have seen several players — most notably Randy Gregory, multiple times — test positive under the current substance-abuse policy.

Jones added that that changes in the way marijuana is viewed — by society and, in several states, by the law — is part of the context of any re-examination of the policy, including testing and types of discipline, while also keeping a primary goal of helping players "who have sicknesses and addictions."

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