The Cowboys showed how much they value him when he and fullback Daryl Johnston became the first free agents retained after the departure of Johnson and the arrival of Barry Switzer in this tumultuous off-season. Two other veteran free-agent guards, Kevin Gogan and John Gesek, were allowed to, move along to other cities. Newton will be the foundation of a line that has to be rebuilt. This is fine with him. He would have moved for the right money, but he wanted to stay.
"I'm happy," he says. "I'm as happy these past few years as I've ever been. I look back and see that I was nothing but a fool, a clown. You can't live that way."
The bully is gone. Time changes people as much as anything. Time and experience. He is married and financially secure. He and his wife, Dorothy, have a son, Nate III, and his personal life, after having had three children with three different women, has settled. His mind has settled. There still might be public problems here and there—he will appear in court on June 27 on a 1993 charge of driving while intoxicated, and he has gone back to Spotts in Orlando to lose 45 pounds before the start of training camp—but he is certainly no longer the menacing figure of the Set. He has changed that. Oliver saw Newton at the Super Bowl in January 1993. "He was sitting there with a microphone and with his little name card in front of him, talking to all of these people," she says. "He was talking so nice, and everyone was writing down what he said. I said to myself, 'Look at Nate. He's all grown up.' "