The Rise And Fall Of Former NFL Running Back Joseph Randle

Joseph Randle

Over the years, the NFL has seen several of its current or former players do horrible things off of the playing field, resulting in long prison terms and disgrace. Those players include O.J. Simpson (armed robbery, found not guilty of murder), Aaron Hernandez (guilty of murder in the first degree, sentenced to life in prison), Lawrence Phillips (domestic violence, committed suicide in prison while awaiting murder trial), and Darren Sharper (convicted of multiple rape accounts, sentenced to 10 years in prison).

In 2014, the NFL saw some of its big names such as Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, and Greg Hardy become the centers of domestic violence cases/allegations. Despite the amount of negative backlash that Peterson and Hardy got from the court of public opinion, they were each given another chance as AP returned to the Vikings and Hardy was signed by the circus that is the Dallas Cowboys. In 2015, the Dallas Cowboys dealt with another player who completely lost control off of the field and his name was not Greg Hardy. Instead, it was former running back Joseph Randle

Before his time in the NFL, Randle was a standout at Oklahoma State, where he rushed for 1,216 yards on 208 carries and 24 touchdowns in 2011 and was named second-team All BIG-12. After forgoing his senior season, Randle was drafted by Dallas in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Following the departure of DeMarco Murray to the Philadelphia Eagles during 2015 free agency, many expected Randle to be the heir to the Cowboys rushing attack. Instead, after five arrests in the past 17 months and rumors of being involved in a gambling ring, Randle has lost his opportunity to not only be Dallas’s premier running back, but his off-field troubles have also taken away his ability to live amongst society as the Dallas Morning News has reported that Randle cannot afford bail or a lawyer following his most recent arrest. 

While the charges brought against Randle in these five incidents are not as serious as the ones that helped imprison the likes of O.J. Simpson and Aaron Hernandez, Randle’s inability to keep his nose clean have made him one of the league’s more infamous players to blow their opportunity at playing professional football. Before we can understand just what exactly went wrong with Joseph Randle, let’s break down the former running back’s troubled timeline in the NFL.


October 2014:

After attempting to steal underwear and cologne from a Frisco, Texas area shopping center, Randle was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of class-B theft ($50-$500). While being processed in jail, Randle was caught on camera making inappropriate comments to a female jailhouse employee

February 2015:

Randle was arrested for unlawful possession of marijuana in Wichita, Kansas during a traffic stop. His second arrest in less than four months. 

November 2015:

Randle was released from the Cowboys following an arrest stemming from an altercation at a Kansas Casino. Randle was suspended by the NFL for four games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy upon his release from the team. 

February 1st:

After showing up at a former girlfriend’s home in the middle of the night unannounced and unwelcomed in Irving, Texas, Randle was arrested due to an outstanding warrant for speeding in a school zone after police were called to the scene. 

February 21st:

Randle was again arrested in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas on charges of aggravated battery, possession of hallucinogens/marijuana and criminal damage to property. During the incident leading to his arrest, Randle allegedly hit three people with his vehicle and then broke through the front door of a home he had been asked to leave.


Being arrested five times in 17 months is never something a person should be able to accomplish, especially one that is playing in the NFL. But, somehow, Joseph Randle managed to accomplish the feat, and for it, he is now paying a big price. The craziest part about this Joseph Randle saga is the stupidity behind the majority of these arrests: shoplifting, speeding in a school zone, getting into an altercation at a casino, multiple drug charges, etc. Why is an NFL player doing such idiotic things such as this and how many times does a person need to be arrested in order to understand that they need to clean up their act? Obviously, neither of the first two arrests did anything to help change Joseph Randle as a person, and neither did the next two, as he was arrested in Kansas just three weeks after his fourth arrest in Irving, Texas. 

It seems that in today’s world there are too many cases of professional athletes losing their grip while off the field (Johnny Manziel being a primary example). But with Joseph Randle, it is pretty clear that this is not just a case of a person losing their grip. This is obviously a bad and troubled individual that the Dallas Cowboys saw going down a dark path, which is why they decided to cut ties with him. Randle has been given opportunity after opportunity to get help and turn his life around, but after trying to run down three people with his car, there isn’t really much else that can be done for the young man out of Oklahoma State other than a decent prison sentence. The way Joseph Randle ran himself out of the NFL is a sad story, but it is one that needs to be told and made an example of in order to help guide the youth of America when it comes to making the correct choices in life. 

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