DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) - They have an array of pro sports clients. Some of them are superstars. Some play in the NFL or elsewhere relatively under the radar. But Peter Schaffer, the long-time NFL agent based in Denver, and Daniel Moskowitz, the lawyer based in Dallas, share a common thread in part of their work.
I suggest to Moskowitz that it's a desire to "defend Fallen Angels.''
Moskowitz smiles at the suggestion.
“Daniel makes me feel like my cases are about saving my life,” Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory -- the latest embodiment of the attorneys' common thread -- told me earlier this year. “He’s always been there for me; it’s never been about money. He looks at me as family and is ride-or-die.”
Schaffer and Moskowitz have never teamed up before, but in terms of trying to help players who have stumbled into trouble with the NFL, they have forged a similar path. Keen NFL fans might recognize Schaffer's name from his representation of stars like legendary Lions running back Barry Sanders and Browns future Hall-of-Fame lineman Joe Thomas.
But Schaffer is associated with another wing of NFL names who you recognize for different reasons -- names connected with trouble, like former Cowboys lineman Josh Brent, Bengals running back Joe Mixon and long-time NFL foil Adam "PacMan'' Jones.
Says Schaffer: "What is different from the perception about my involvement with what you have called the 'fallen angels'' is that the people I work with I find to be good people who have made a mistake. We are not trying to resurrect the careers of bad people. Character matters and so many of my clients have high character. I’m not going to do a reclamation project unless there’s a certain level of integrity. Mixon, for example, turned out to be a sweetheart of a kid. He made one mistake in one second in time.
"People have to allow a guy like that to make amends.''
Moskowitz, now with the McCathern law firm in Dallas, has extensive experience in league matters, and specifically in representing troubled Cowboys. He's not usually acting as an agent, per se; he's sometimes a lawyer working as a guidance counselor, a big brother a friend.
"Randy is a special case and a special person,'' says Moskowitz. "This has the chance to be a wonderful success story for everyone involved.''
Moskowitz’s sports practice seems to magnetize itself controversial efforts, including appeals of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's discipline via the NFL’s Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse and Policy on Performance-Enhancing Substances.
He was one of the legal minds (along with co-counsel Joe Briggs and the NFLPA) behind the 2017 reinstatement of Arizona Pro Bowl linebacker Daryl Washington following a three-year hiatus), he was reinstated. Recent Cowboys clients include Terrance Williams, Rico Gathers and David Irving, all of whom in the last year have experienced behavioral difficulties.
And now there is Gregory, who applied for reinstatement into the NFL in mid-July, hoping to demonstrate -- with the help of Schaffer and Moskowitz -- that despite four drug suspensions, he's working for another chance.
"I am certainly optimistic in general about Randy,'' says Schaffer, who heads up the firm Authentic Athletix. "But it’s really difficult to predict what the league will do on these matters. We can make a compelling argument that in 10 years the hero of the story is going to be Randy Gregory because of the way he has changed his life around. I will also note that another hero hero can be (Cowboys owner) Jerry Jones, who takes a lot of (public criticism) but who is loyal as the day is long. The Cowboys are trying to give Randy the resources to increase his chances.''
And his legal team is a "resource'' itself for a young man who needs them. Maybe that is the attraction for Moskowitz (who has been alongside Gregory for three years) and Schaffer (hired just this month) as they stand alongside this player. A person has been "abandoned.'' A "fix'' is needed. A fallen angel needs defending.