Brandon George of The Dallas Morning News reports that running back Joseph Randle was betting on sports while with the Dallas Cowboys in 2015, and the team’s knowledge of his gambling contributed to his release in November:
As Joseph Randle’s life began to unravel early last season, the Cowboys learned that the running back had been betting on sports, according to four sources.
Randle started the first six games in 2015 before his behavior became so peculiar that the Cowboys chose to cut ties with him.
On Nov. 3, a combination of issues led the Cowboys to release Randle. In addition to showing signs of mental instability, he had been involved in placing wagers on sporting events during the 2015 season, sources said.
“All of that became apparent to us right during the season,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said last week from a Senior Bowl practice in Mobile, Ala. “Not before the season. It became real acute, a combination of things. Some issues … became more apparent.”
Jones was asked if any evidence showed that Randle bet on any NFL games.
“At this time, no,” Jones said.
The report added that the team is concerned for Randle and tried to reach out, as did the NFL league office, but Randle has refused assistance since his release. The report also quoted sources explaining an incident in October where Randle, himself, called the police and became “delusional”—a word he used to describe himself to police—and another incident at a casino where witnesses called him “belligerent.”
This is all part of an in-depth, massive report from George– the whole article is a recommended read — that comes after Randle was arrested early Monday morning on speed charges. It was Randle’s fourth arrest in the last 17 months. So, it’s very apparent that Randle has all sorts of off-the-field problems going on right now, and needs help (and it unfortunately appears he’s been rejecting such offers).
But obviously in the sports world, a main takeaway from this is Randle allegedly betting on sports while a member of an NFL team, and it’s natural to wonder if his gambling habits played into the results — or at least his performance — of any games he participated in while with the Cowboys. And George has interesting details of what happened in Randle’s final game with Dallas this season:
Randle’s last game with the Cowboys was on Oct. 25, a 27-20 loss to the Giants in New York. Randle started the game but pulled himself out in the first series after two carries for 24 yards. Randle, who had been bothered at times in training camp with a strained oblique, came to the sideline and used a stationary bike before having a brief conversation with coach Jason Garrett. Randle then used the stationary bike some more but never went back into the game.
Jones said he’s never suspected that Randle pulled himself out of the Giants game for any reason but the injury.
“I’ve never suspected in any way a relationship between that [and gambling],” Jones said. “I just thought he was [hurt], but I do believe at that time that his entire lifestyle and the whole thing was piling up on him.”
We can’t conclude anything by that of course, but it certainly makes you wonder.
When asked by the Star Telegram’s Drew Davidson on Monday night about the sports gambling allegations, Randle responded via text that the allegations aren’t true “at all”:
Joseph Randle in text message regarding sports gambling accusations says: “No truth at all.”
— Drew Davison (@drewdavison) February 2, 2016
Randle entered 2015 as the Cowboys’ starting running back, and played in six games, running for 315 yards (4.1 avg) and four touchdowns over 76 carries. He was released on November 1 by the Cowboys, and then suspended four games by the NFL under the league’s personal conduct policy one week later.
The 24-year-old is currently a free agent, and given these gambling allegations to go with his other off-the-field issues, it’s hard to see a team signing him anytime soon (if he will even be allowed to play again, of course). His NFL-playing career should be down the list of his priorities right now anyway.