One thing that no one can deny is that Jerry Jones likes to shoot for the best.
- Record setting stadium in my hometown of Arlington.
- Most valuable sports franchise in the world.
- Most well-known team in the league, in any city.
To name a few. He even goes after high-profile players with his check book flapping, all because he wants to bring in the best guys he can find to help his beloved team get a sixth Super Bowl banner hanging from the rafters. You can't blame him for what he is trying to do; we'd all probably do the same thing for a while if were us in his shoes.
And Jerry really hasn't had that long to experience his own influence on the team. He got lucky in the draft with the Trio of Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin. Not to mention players like Bill Bates, Jay Novacek, Leon Lett, Nate Newton, and big Larry Allen.
Add players like that with the coaching of Jimmy Johnson and you really don't have a lot else to worry about as an Owner/President/GM. He was free to go wave the Cowboys flag in front of every media member that he could find, and they all listened because it's America's Team.
Since 1996 though, Jerry has been at the helm of more struggles than successes. He still finds a way to get the Cowboys in the headlines, but now there's more to being the Owner of the Dallas Cowboys than just media publicity.
Now, he actually has to make tough decisions, and we're all surprised that he tried to use his check book to buy talent? It's the obvious choice, and judging from the Yankees, a good idea.
But football isn't baseball. Football has far more rules, positions, duties, and player and position responsibilities than baseball. So buying talent is a bit different in this league.
So Pacman didn't work out, it wasn't a check book buy so it doesn't really matter. The offensive line was a bust this year; maybe it's a bad year for them. T.O. hasn't been exactly what we hoped for, albeit much better than he could have been. Romo earned his contract and fluffed the first year out, just like ken Hamlin did, it's hard to stay grounded on this team. Always has been.
And now Jerry Jones faces his biggest challenge yet; he must keep success alive in Dallas after losing what had been built up over the last few years.
This off-season should be a telling one for Mr. Jones. It's the first time he'll be solely responsible for what's happening. It's not a risky rebuilding situation, and it's not resting on carried-over success. It's about him putting the right pieces together, and making those pieces fit better than ever. It's about learning from a mistake that he created; it's about winning football games again.
He's got the players that many other teams would kill for. He's got a coaching staff that can lead the way, if only they will lead the way.
And now he's got the opportunity to prove everybody either right or wrong. If he goes out this spring and signs the likes of Ray Lewis or Julius Peppers, or tries to go for Anquan Bolden if he gets out of his deal, then we'll know that he's still trying to buy a Super Bowl.
But if he does what he said he will do, if he changes, then we won't be getting any flashy big-name players through free agency. We won't dump money on players to keep them here, even if it means paying for twice the talent of what that player has. There will be more solid draft picks and better utilization of those young players in their rookie year.
If he stays true to his word, the word he gave during the Senior Bowl practices this week, then we fans have little to worry about.
Owens and Garrett won't be a problem if Jerry changes. Wade won't be a problem if Jerry changes. Romo won't be a problem if Jerry changes. The question, and it's a big one, is if Jerry changes. He's got the guts, and if he can change, then we can all have that glory again in Dallas.
Dreams are nice aren't they?