Another NFL season is in the books, another Super Bowl has been played and for the 27th consecutive year the Dallas Cowboys were not a participant. It's been the same number of years since the Cowboys have even shown up to play in an NFC Championship game.
For Cowboys fandom this is the equivalent of wandering the Sinai. Unless we're prepared to outdo the ancient Israelites it's clear changes need to be made in Frisco.
Beginning here, and over the course of 11 more posts, we're going to address the matter at hand: How do we fix the Dallas Cowboys?
THE BUCK STOPS AT JERRY'S DESK
First, we acknowledge that all three Super Bowl victories of the 1990s are fully credited to Jimmy Johnson's leadership, not Jerry Jones'.
In fact, had Jerry's ego not gotten in the way, the Cowboys could have easily won four straight championships during that stretch and likely had made it back to the big game in the next three years following their 27-17 win over the Steelers in SB XXX.
Could they have run the table on the Patriots and back-to-back over John Elway's Broncos? Possibly. But we'll never know because Jerry couldn't stand not being alone in the spotlight.
Instead of taking a page out of another owner named Jerry's playbook, Dr. Jerry Buss of the NBA Los Angeles Lakers — who hired two very good GMs, checked his ego, stayed out of their way, and collected 10 NBA Championships in 16 Finals appearances — Jones canned the coach that brought home three Lombardis (Barry Switzer won the third one but he did it with Jimmy's players), refused to hire a GM and has zilch to show for it over 27 years of “being the man.”
Jones remains convinced he knows how to put together a winning NFL team.
I'll grant that he's a great businessman. Despite the team's lack of championships — Cowboys' fandom accepts as a minimum for a successful season, no less than an NFC Championship game appearance if not a Super Bowl victory — he's still managed to make the franchise worth billions.
He built the sports palace we have all come to know and love as “JerryWorld” and landed some major events to be held within it. But his team hasn't won another Super Bowl.
If we are going to be honest, as long as he is running the franchise he never will.
The team needs a general manager with the power to make changes in coaching and player personnel when needed. Not two or three years later. A GM who won't overpay players. A GM who is smart when it's time to draft — although Will McClay's hiring in 2014 has negated some of Jones' worst impulses in the draft over the years.
Yes, I'm looking at the 2004 Draft when Jones traded out of the first round with the 22nd pick, with RB Stephen Jackson on the board, and selected Julius Jones in the second round instead.
The other picks they got from Buffalo turned out to be TE Sean Ryan in the 5th round and Marcus Spears in the 2005 Draft.
How'd that trade work out again, Jerry?
That's just one of many bad trades Jerry has piled up over the years.
Trading for WRs Joey Galloway and Roy Williams — desperately looking to replace Michael Irvin — were bad moves.
And when Jerry finally got a wide receiver trade right, hello Amari Cooper, he trades him away for a ham sandwich in a season where Dallas was a heavy favorite to make the Super Bowl and gambles on a wide receiver coming off a leg injury.
How'd the 2022 season go again, Jerry?
Until Jerry passes away, or his children wrest control of the team from him, or he sells the team (yeah, right) nothing is going to change.
The way to fix the Cowboys begins in the Front Office by bringing in a general manager who knows how to build a winning franchise. Sadly, Jerry's ego will never allow him to see that the name of that GM will never be Jerry Jones.
Until the Cowboys have a true GM, it looks like we've got a lot more wandering to go, folks.
Follow along with the next group in the series: fixing the Cowboys with the coaches room.