Late last month, a much-discussed ESPN report said Texas native Adrian Peterson wants to play for the Dallas Cowboys.
A child abuse indictment later, that story is today nothing more than a distant memory. But all the controversy hasn't deterred some prominent voices in the Dallas sports media from wanting to see AP with a star on his helmet.
One aspect of the rationale is captured in a column written by Mac Engel for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. In "Peterson overdid it, but he's not abuser," Engel writes, "What Peterson did strictly comes down to where you stand on corporal punishment, because there are a lot of good people who administered similar whuppins before, even breaking the skin, and generations who turned out fine after having received them."
Engel writes that while he himself doesn't employ corporal punishment on his kids, he has "no problem with those who do."
A few days later, Shan Shariff, a radio host on North Texas's 105.3 The Fan, explicitly made the case that the Cowboys should acquire AP in a column entitled, "Why Adrian Peterson Needs a Star On His Helmet."
Shariff argues that hitting your children isn't as big of a deal in Texas as it is in, say, Minnesota.
"We believe and practice corporal punishment," Shariff writes. "We got Whoopins, beatings, belts and switches administered like a bath at night. We agree and support your way of parenting Adrian."
"We get it, because it's the way we grew up," he continues. "Come back home and finish your HOF career here. We would welcome you with open arms like no one else in the country."
AP playing for the Cowboys sooner rather than later isn't as farfetched as it seemed a month ago. In fact, just yesterday, ESPN's Chris Mortensen, citing "team sources," reported, "The Vikings do not foresee Peterson in their future... following a botched attempt to activate the running back this past Monday only to reverse course Wednesday by placing him on the commissioner's exempt list."
Of course, what two media personalities think is one thing, what Cowboys owner Jerry Jones thinks is another.
According to the August report that broke news of AP's alleged interest in the Cowboys, during a phone chat this offseason, Jones told Peterson, "I love your story... I've always respected what you've been about. I've always been a fan of yours."
Is that still the case after all the controversy of the last 10 days? With the Vikings reportedly preparing for a post-Peterson future, we may soon find out to what extent Jones is on the same page with the likes of Engel and Shariff.