How Stephen Jones’ Hardest Front Office Decision Came in 2016

The Cowboys front office, particularly Jerry Jones, has faced a ton of pressure over the years for “unconventionally” building the team’s roster – suffering from the ups and downs that have plagued this franchise since 1996.

Now benefiting from years of hard work from Head Coach Jason Garrett, along with Will McClay and Stephen Jones, the Cowboys are on an unprecedented run with the stars of their 2016 draft class – Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.

Of course, Elliott was drafted in the top five to make the significant and immediate impact that he has, but the plan for Prescott was to never become one of the greatest rookie starters in league history. (Whether or not he is the best is a question better answered by fellow Staff Writer Brian Martin in “Is Dak Prescott The Best Rookie Quarterback In NFL History?“).

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This season’s success was supposed to be all about Tony Romo. Sometimes foolishly, the Cowboys have aimed to time travel back to 2014 and replicate that magical season that ended anything-but-magically at Lambeau Field. Now, America’s Team is Dak to the future.

In answering fan questions like the one above, Stephen Jones said that the decision to stick with Prescott was the hardest he’s ever had to make.

Reportedly, Romo flew on Jerry Jones’ private jet to the Steelers game, where he was informed that Prescott would be keeping the starting job. The rookie earned that role even further by beating the Steelers in a classic, before returning home to rattle off the Cowboys’ two most recent wins against the Ravens and Redskins.


You see how much respect the Dallas organization has for Romo simply by looking over Stephen’s shoulder at the painting of a quarterback that should be regarded as an all-time great – instead leaving a legacy of near misses and otherwise embarrassing Cowboys teams around him.

Romo earned so much more respect when he painfully conceded the starting job to Prescott, and now that we know truly how difficult of a decision it was for the Cowboys, it only makes that speech more powerful.

The NFL is a business. If you think anybody understands that more than the Jones family, you’re wrong.

Business can be hard, as you have to do what’s best for everyone while dealing with unexpected twists and turns – all while trying to manage how much emotion impacts important decisions.

The miraculous 10-1 Cowboys are a thing of beauty, rightfully being led by Dak Prescott. For Cowboys Nation, this has gotten easier and easier to say after each consecutive win. For Stephen Jones, it may never be easy to look back on the abrupt ending to Romo’s reign with the Star.

Unless it ends in some new hardware coming to The Star. Fight ✭.

Tell us what you think about “How Stephen Jones’ Hardest Front Office Decision Came in 2016” in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Sean Martin

Written by Sean Martin

Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.


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