Dallas Cowboys starting safety Damontae Kazee was arrested and jailed Tuesday morning, October 19, on charges of driving while under the influence. The news was first reported by Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News.
Kazee was stopped in The Colony, a Dallas suburb, around 3 a.m. local time for a traffic violation, according to the outlet. A police spokesperson told Gehlken that the 28-year-old admitted to consuming alcohol after an officer reported “physical signs” of Kazee’s impairment.
Kazee subsequently failed a field sobriety test and was charged with DWI, a first-offense misdemeanor, the Dallas Morning News reported. He was released from The Colony Municipal Jail early Tuesday afternoon after posting $2,500 bond, according to the outlet.
Gehlken reported that the Cowboys declined to comment and the team has yet to publicly address Kazee’s arrest.
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Kazee Is an Every-Game Starter for Cowboys
After signing a one-year, $1.1 million contract in free agency in March 2021 and reuniting with former Atlanta Falcons head coach and current Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Kazee has been a key contributor through six games.
The 2017 fifth-round draft pick has posted 17 tackles (13 solo), three pass deflections, one interception and a forced fumble. He’s hardly come off the field, too, logging 90.4% (349) of the Cowboys’ defensive snaps.
A hard-hitter near the line of scrimmage, Kazee helps lead the NFL’s fifth-best run defense, which surrenders just 86.2 yards per game, per ESPN. Dallas allowed 120 ground yards amid Sunday’s Week 6 overtime victory at New England, with Kazee — an admitted boon for Quinn’s play-calling and game-planning — notching three solo tackles.
“He has been a good resource for me behind the scenes,” Quinn said in July 2021, via WFAA.com. “‘Hey here’s what Q might mean in this.’ It may not be scheme-related but in a situation, in a moment, a style of play, an attitude that we want to play with, he can back me in a lot of ways. Scheme being one of them, just a style, an identity of how we want to play that would be another.”
With Kazee now subject to potential discipline from the Cowboys and/or NFL pending investigation of the alleged violation of the league’s the league’s personal conduct policy, the next men up at safety opposite Donovan Wilson are Malik Hooker and Jayron Kearse. The Cowboys also have rookie Israel Mukuamu on the 53-man roster and Tyler Coyle on the practice squad.
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McCarthy Emphasized Good Judgement During Bye Week
Kazee’s arrest comes as the 5-1 Cowboys enter their bye week and shortly after head coach Mike McCarthy stressed to his players the importance of staying safe and making good decisions amid the brief respite.
”Yeah, we talked about it last week when I told them what the schedule was going to be,” McCarthy told reporters during his October 18 press conference. “Talked about the distractions and what we don’t want. We have an outstanding season — 5-1, where we are. Make sure that everybody is taking care of themselves and spend as much time as they can with family and friends.
”They deserve it. They deserve this break, the length of it. I have a lot of confidence and a lot of trust in those guys.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL