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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cowboys: Sex, Drugs and Superbowls

How 'bout them Cowboys?


Penthouse magazine is now required reading to follow America's Team.


This month's glossy-paged treatise on Dallas wide receiver Michael Irvin, "Addicted Just As Much To Sex As He Is To Drugs,'' is accompanied by photos of Rachelle Smith, the topless dancer who was with Irvin when arrested on drug charges earlier this year.


How embarrassing, some might say, until the Leon Lett story begins to unfold. Lett, who was on his way to being the NFL's defensive player of the year, had not only been suspended by the NFL last season for four games, but had been tested for drugs as often as 10 times a month since that time.


While no one is talking in Dallas or at NFL headquarters in New York because of confidentiality restrictions, this much is known: Lett can count.


According to reports, after passing his 10th drug test last month without a problem, another test -- exceeding the NFL's drug policy guidelines -- was given and he came up dirty. Lett, the Cowboys, and the Cowboys' legal advisers argued this was not fair, but the NFL responded by banishing Lett from playing for at least one year.


An NFL spokesman said the league could not comment on Lett's situation in any way.


Lett's situation, however, cries out for comment.


"If the Cowboys make it to the Super Bowl, I wouldn't go if you gave me a free ticket,'' said Art Taylor, associate director of Northeastern University's Center for the Study of Sport in Society. "Is it true they signed Albert Belle? Maybe it's only a rumor, but it would be consistent with the way they do business.


"This is an organization out of control,'' Taylor said.


The Cowboys have had a series of off-the-field indiscretions by players:


?In 1994, their best offensive lineman, Erik Williams, pleaded no contest and received two years' probation on a misdemeanor drunken driving charge after crashing his car and suffering a season-ending knee injury.


Williams had been accused by a 17-old-topless dancer earlier of assaulting her, but a grand jury did not charge Williams after she refused to cooperate following an out-of-court settlement with Williams.


?Defensive lineman Shante Carver, who wrecked his car in his rookie season and then reported it stolen, was suspended for six games to start this season because of a drug violation.


?Earlier this year, Irvin pleaded no contest to drug charges and was put on four years' probation, fined $10,000 and then suspended for five games for conduct detrimental to the league.


In the Penthouse article, Smith is quoted as saying, "Irvin couldn't get enough cocaine into his body.''


Irvin denied ever using drugs, but after Smith testified, Irvin pleaded no contest to drug charges. Smith's boyfriend, Johnny Hernandez, was later accused of plotting to kill Irvin.


When the Lett story began to surface almost two weeks ago, Jerry Jones shot it down.


On Tuesday, after the league's announcement, Jones missed his weekly radio show and weekly media luncheon.


"Look at the response: Jones was outraged that Leon Lett was caught or couldn't get out of it,'' Taylor said. "Right now he's got to be thinking about changing things and getting this organization back on track before it implodes.''