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Cowboys cut Lucky Whitehead after reported arrest

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  • By Around The NFL staff NFL.com
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The Dallas Cowboys have cut wide receiver Lucky Whitehead on the same day police in Virginia announced he is facing misdemeanor petty larceny charges stemming from an arrest in June.

However, Whitehead's agent, Dave Rich, told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport on Monday that his client was not in Virginia at the time of the reported incident. Furthermore, Rapoport reported on Inside Training Camp Live that Rich told him Whitehead flew from Dallas/Fort Worth Interational Airport to Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. roughly seven hours after his reported arrest in Virginia on June 22.

Whitehead told Cowboys coach Jason Garrett on Monday that he wasn't involved in the alleged incident, Rapoport reported.

"It sounds like [the Cowboys] didn't buy it or they simply decided -- as can be the case with players who aren't a lock to make the team -- it was not worth it to wait and see was he telling the truth and was he not," Rapoport said on Inside Training Camp Live. "But this would explain why Whitehead, his agent and the Cowboys had no idea about the arrest or the hearing that he missed until earlier today when it was reported.

"There are a lot of questions, including how did police identify him as the person on the scene when he was in a different state? ... A lot of questions here, but from my understanding, I would think the Cowboys can cut him whenever they want. But he certainly would have an issue with the police if what the agent is telling me is true -- if the police did error in claiming that Whitehead was arrested."

Prince William County police told NFL.com a man identified as Whitehead was arrested on June 22 around 1:30 a.m. ET after being accused of shoplifting less than $200 worth of merchandise from a convenience store in Woodbridge, Virginia. Police responded to a call made by a convenience store employee, who said Whitehead ran out of the store without paying for some merchandise. Police located Whitehead in the parking lot and arrested him a short time later. He was then issued a court summons upon release, police stated.

Whitehead failed to show up for his scheduled arraignment on July 6 and a warrant was issued for his arrest, per Prince William County General Court records. He has another court hearing scheduled for August 10.

When asked about the arrest by reporters after training camp practice Monday, Whitehead responded, "I didn't even know about that."

Garrett said he learned about Whitehead's arrest while on the practice field Monday and met with him briefly. The coach elaborated on the organization's decision to cut Whitehead after practice.

"As we gathered more information on that particular situation and conversations we had with Lucky about that particular situation and we put into context with his career with us over the last year or so, we just felt like the best decision for the Dallas Cowboys was to release them," Garrett told reporters. "We felt like that's good for us going forward and hopefully it'll be good for him going forward. A little bit of a wake-up call to handle these situations the right way.

"When you have someone in your program, in this environment, in this structure, and they don't grow and develop and they make the same mistakes over and over again, it's time to move on."

Last season, Whitehead recorded three catches for 48 yards for the Cowboys. It remains to be seen if another team will pick up Whitehead as he tries to find another home heading into what would be his third NFL season.

UPDATE: Police in Virginia announced Tuesday they misidentified Whitehead as the man they arrested in June, dropped the charge and apologized to him and his family.

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