Yet the chance he might, and that he might play really well, was good enough for Jerry Jones to absorb the public-relations hit that comes with acquiring the cornerback known more for arrests than interceptions.
"To say I'm totally convinced (it will work out), no, I don't know that," the Cowboys owner said Saturday. "I don't know that at all. But I do know enough to do what we're doing. And I feel positive enough that it's worth that."
Jerry Jones said the trade to acquire the cornerback from the Tennessee Titans is done "for all practical purposes." Although they agreed in principle Wednesday, things have dragged on because the parameters and contract talks that have included both teams, Adam Jones, the league office and the players association.
"That's quite a convoluted situation," Jerry Jones said.
The crux of the deal is Dallas giving up a fourth-round pick this year and a sixth next year, plus the cornerback getting a four-year contract. The Cowboys would get back a fourth-rounder in 2009 if Jones isn't reinstated, or a fifth-rounder if he returns then gets busted again.
Like the video-game character, Adam Jones has dazzling speed and elusiveness. He was the top defensive player taken in the 2005 draft and was even better in '06, his second season.
He never made it back for a third because NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him for repeatedly violating the league's personal conduct rules. He's been arrested six times and has been involved in 12 incidents requiring police intervention. Not all are settled, either, which is part of the reason his status is in limbo.
Jerry Jones said the Cowboys will try getting Adam Pacman reinstated, or at least allowed to work out at their facility. Last season, Goodell allowed Tank Johnson to practice with the team before his suspension was lifted.
Dallas signed Johnson during his punishment for the exact same reasons the club went after Pacman: He fills a need and he could be had for less than his talent is worth.
"I think it's the circumstance, it's the person, it's what at risk -- all of those are there," Jerry Jones said. "I'm not trying to sound like some preacher here, but I have always been one that just because a person has made some bad decisions, do not close your eyes and ears and decision-making to giving them an opportunity."
The club owner said he's fully aware how divisive this move is among his fans. He chalked that up as a cost of doing business, saying simply, "The risk-reward needs to be done."
"I am paid around here and my job is to try and look for more value than is there, if it's there, than we see on the face of it. With it comes some risk," Jones said. "I heard somebody ask the question, `How good do you feel about Adam's future?' I feel good enough to take some of the risk and do some of the things and invest some of everything we talked about to do it. I feel that good about it. If I didn't, we wouldn't be doing it."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press