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A Dallas Cowboys WR, mistaken identity, and shoplifting from Wawa

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USA Today Images

A Dallas Cowboys WR, mistaken identity, and shoplifting from Wawa

UPDATE: You can read our original story below but please see the update at the bottom of this post as this has been a case of mistaken identity.

This story has it all: a potential case of mistaken identity, a Dallas Cowboys receiver in trouble, an arrest, and hopefully a Wawa iced tea.

Yes, another Dallas Cowboys player found himself in hot water this week -- or perhaps to be more accurate we should say former Cowboys player. WR Lucky Whitehead was cut from the Cowboys  on Monday after reports of his arrest for shoplifting reached the team.

Of importance to Eagles fans: he reportedly shoplifted from a Wawa store in Virginia.

Sacrilege. 

But that's not the strangest part of it. Whitehead is attempting to claim it wasn't him.

From the AP:

Whitehead said he "didn't know about" the case in his home state of Virginia as he was escorted off the field by a member of the Cowboys' public relations staff after the first morning walkthrough practice Monday morning. He was released before the full workout in the afternoon.

Prince William County Police Sgt. Jonathan Perok said 25-year-old Rodney Darnell Whitehead Jr. was arrested around 1:30 a.m. June 22 for taking about $40 worth of food and drink from a convenience store.

Perok said he couldn't confirm that the man arrested was the Dallas receiver, but online records matched his name and birthdate. The Cowboys' media guide lists Whitehead's given first name of Rodney.

According to online records, a court date was missed July 6, leading to another charge. Another court date was set for Aug. 10.

Whitehead's agent, Dave Rich, called it a case of mistaken identity and disputed whether an arrest was made.

Rich said his client didn't arrive in Virginia until about 10 hours after the reported arrest, suggesting that either police had the wrong date on the report or that someone used Whitehead's name and address in Manassas, Virginia, where he played high school football.

The Cowboys moved swiftly in releasing Whitehead after two defensive players were arrested during the offseason.

Let this be a lesson to us all: always pay for that late-night shorti.

UPDATE: It may actually have been a case of mistaken identity! Per Ian Rapoport:

TMZ has more on the cops getting a fake name from the culprit:

We spoke with commonwealth's attorney, Paul Ebert, who says the case against Lucky Whitehead has been dropped after an internal investigation into the arrest.

Long story short ... Ebert says the man who was was only "verbally identified" by the arresting officer. The arrestee did not have an I.D. on him.

The man told cops he was Lucky Whitehead and gave them Lucky's information, Ebert says.

Cops reviewed surveillance video at the convenience store which showed the man was NOT Lucky.

Here is a statement from Sergeant Jonathan L. Perok:

Upon reviewing the June 22, 2017 arrest of an individual named “Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.”, the police department is confident that the man charged with petit larceny, and who is subsequently being sought on an active warrant for failure to appear in court, is not Lucky Whitehead of the Dallas Cowboys. The man charged on the morning of June 22 was not in possession of identification at the time of the encounter; however, did verbally provide identifying information to officers, which included a name, date of birth, and social security number matching that of Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr. Officers then checked this information through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database. The DMV photo on file was then used to compare to the man who was in custody. Officers acted in good faith that, at the time, the man in custody was the same man matching the information provided. At this point, the police department is also confident in confirming that Mr. Whitehead’s identify was falsely provided to police during the investigation. The police department is currently seeking the identity of the man involved in the incident. Since the identifying information provided by the arrestee during the investigation was apparently false, the police department is working with the Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to clear Mr. Whitehead from this investigation. The police department regrets the impact these events had on Mr. Whitehead and his family.

NFL Referees Association: Pete Morelli criticisms are click bait

NFL Referees Association: Pete Morelli criticisms are click bait

The NFL Referees Association responded to criticisms of Pete Morelli and his officiating crew, and in doing so, suggested Eagles fans and impartial members of the media have no idea what they are talking about.

Morelli has come under fire over the seemingly lopsided officiating during the Eagles' 28-23 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Week 6. The Eagles were penalized 10 times for 126 yards in the contest, while the Panthers drew only one flag for one yard, despite the appearance of committing many of the same infractions.

Since that game, a change.org petition moving to ban Morelli from working Eagles games in the future is approaching its goal of 75,000 signatures. Research also shows Morelli's crew has been calling penalties against the Eagles in disproportionate numbers for awhile now. In the last four games with Morelli, the Eagles were flagged 40 times for 396 yards, compared to just eight penalties for 74 yards against opponents.

Almost everybody seemed to be in agreement that the officiating was at the very least poor in the Eagles-Panthers game, if not biased. Everybody, that is, except NFLRA executive director Scott Green, who released a statement on Thursday.

Via ProFootballTalk:

“Claims like these demonstrate a fundamental lack of knowledge about NFL officiating,” Green said. “NFL officials are graded on every call made in every game. Missing a single one can hurt his or her ranking and may be the difference between working in the postseason or not. These recent attempts to sensationalize statistics and create click-bait headlines lack important context. Without the proper perspective, the information being pushed is completely misguided. The passion of NFL fans and teams are a big part of what makes the game so great. However, it’s no excuse for the irresponsible and baseless claims we’ve seen lately. NFL officials are committed to upholding the integrity of the game and do so every week.”

Lack of knowledge. Completely misguided. Irresponsible and baseless. You would expect the NFLRA to come to the defense of Morelli -- it's literally their job -- but insulting the consumers' intelligence along the way probably isn't the best way to go about it.

Is there anything sinister about Morelli's and his crew's officiating? Maybe not, but it doesn't take somebody who's gone through the NFL's (presumably) rigorous Officiating Development Program to watch two nearly identical plays called differently for two different teams within three hours of each other. Innocent mistakes or not, that's what appeared to happen on multiple occasions throughout the Eagles-Panthers game.

Instead of releasing overly defensive statements, perhaps the NFLRA should show video evidence why the calls against the Eagles were correct, and the eerily similar non-calls that went in the Panthers' favor were not. Because this responding to criticism with more criticism isn't changing any minds.

A surprising Eagle keeps getting drug tested

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Jake Elliott IG

A surprising Eagle keeps getting drug tested

Jake Elliott has been a revelation for the Philadelphia Eagles after Caleb Sturgis went down with an injury early in the season.

But has he been too good...

The rook has made 12 of his 14 attempts for the Birds this season.

If you're looking for a good laugh today, go check out this reddit thread that starts with a photo from Elliott's Instagram story in which he points out he got flagged for his third drug test in two weeks!

The comment section is as good as a Jake Elliott 61 yarder.

"Well, he does bleed green...," abenyishay says..

"Is kickers doping really a thing?" ChaosFinalForm wonders, as do we.

What do you think? Just the way the random drug draw fell the last few weeks, or does the NFL think Jake Elliott is into something?