FORT WORTH, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys cornerback Adam Jones was suspended for at least four games by the NFL on Tuesday for violating the league's personal conduct policy.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will then determine the full length of the suspension following the Cowboys' game in Washington on Nov. 16.
Jones was in repeated legal trouble while with the Tennessee Titans and was involved in an alcohol-related scuffle on Oct. 7 with one of his bodyguards at a private party in Dallas.
In a letter to Jones on Tuesday, Goodell cited a "disturbing pattern of behavior and clearly inconsistent with the conditions I set for your continued participation in the NFL."
The disturbance at an upscale Dallas hotel came only six weeks after Goodell reinstated Jones from a 17-month suspension.
At an NFL meeting in St. Petersburg, Fla., Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he had spoken to the player, whom he described as "devastated" by the news. Jerry Jones last week said the team wouldn't discipline the cornerback.
"We respect and support the decision of the commissioner," he said in a statement released by the team. "I regret that this issue has brought negative attention to the Cowboys and the NFL.
"We move forward with a very clear knowledge as to what the process will be for a possible reinstatement. Adam is well aware of where he stands and what he has to do."
The league said reinstatement will depend on strict compliance with treatment plans by the NFL and the Cowboys and an evaluation by "clinical experts."
The player's agent, Worrick Robinson, didn't immediately return messages left with his assistant and on his cell phone.
Dallas police said officers responded at about 11 p.m. CT on Oct. 7. Officers said the matter was over by the time they arrived and that some hotel employees reported overhearing a tussle in the men's restroom in the lobby.
The player and his bodyguard, part of a security detail provided by the Cowboys to be with him at all times, said everything was OK. Police said both were driven from the hotel by an acquaintance, and the bodyguard didn't want to press charges.
Jerry Jones said last week the scuffle was the result of back-and-forth banter between the player and his bodyguard that got out of hand. A small glass item on the vanity in the restroom was damaged.
Before getting traded to Dallas in April, the cornerback was arrested six times and involved in 12 instances requiring police intervention after Tennessee drafted him in the first round in 2005.
Tennessee received a fourth-round pick from the Cowboys in the 2008 NFL Draft and was supposed to get a sixth-rounder next year for Jones. But because Jones has been suspended again, Dallas is instead expected to get the Titans' fifth-round pick next April.
Jones was an elite cornerback and kick returner in his first two seasons with the Titans, but the accumulation of arrests and legal problems, including his connection to a shooting at a Las Vegas strip club, led to his suspension without pay in April 2007.
More trouble followed, including felony charges related to the strip-club shooting that left a bouncer paralyzed. There was also a $20,000 debt repaid to a Las Vegas casino after a felony theft warrant was threatened.
Jones has started all six games for the Cowboys, partly because Pro Bowl cornerback Terence Newman has been injured. Jones has 25 tackles and 11 pass deflections, and has averaged 5.0 yards on 16 punt returns.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press