This is NOT meant as a defense of Jerry Jones, who is the single most responsible person for the ineptitude of the Cowboys over the past nearly two decades. But a lot of you who think Jerry is a joke and call him a Beverly Hills Hillbilly really have no perspective on how bad some of the other owners in professional sports have been.
New England Patriots – You had the New England Patriots owned by the Remington Electric Razor king, and they were pathetic.
Washington Redskins – Daniel Snider is at least as bad as Jerry Jones, and even worse at wasting money on overpriced over-the-hill free agents. Witness the latest contract given to Jason Hatcher. At least when Jerry overspends for a free agent, it is on a younger guy like Roy Williams, Joey Galloway, or Brandon Carr. Snider regularly spends beaucoup money on guys over the age of 30.
Philadelphia Eagles – Before Jeff Lurie, the Eagles had a series of pathetic characters who owned the team. Look it up on Wikipedia.
Cincinnati Bengals – Mike Brown in Cincinnati was a huge joke for the longest time. His handling of contract issues with Chad Johnson and Carson Palmer are just his most recent examples of an owner who is self-destructive. His one good idea has been keeping Marvin Lewis around for so long, a real departure from how he used to manage the Bengals.
Cleveland Browns – Cleveland is an absolute embarrassment. Ever since the city ran the original Cleveland Browns out of town in the mid-90's, the ownership there has been a parade of clowns.
Detroit Lions – And are the Cowboys really worse off than the Lions – a team that has never even sniffed at a Super Bowl?
Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings had a used car dealer for an owner for a while about 15 years ago.
Carolina Panthers – Carolina's owner is respected, mainly because he was once an NFL player.
New Orleans Saints – The Saints were once the “Aint's” and fans wore brown bags to hide their faces. Was that ownership better than the Cowboys? The owner got lucky with Sean Payton, but has since been nationally embarrassed by Bounty-gate.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Buccaneers were more than a joke for a long, long time, and then fired the coach who built their championship team a year before they won it all. Their hand-picked replacement cost them two 1st round draft picks, and was able to hold it together for one season before running the team right back into the cellar.
Indianapolis Colts – The Colts have a guy owning them who was just arrested for DUI, and charged with 4 counts of drug possession. He has since checked into “rehab” to try to avoid punishment, and turned over the team to a girl.
Houston Texans – What has Houston done that their owner is given more respect than Jones. Did he save the league from committing financial seppuku in the early 90's by recruiting Fox Network to broadcast NFL games instead of agreeing to the pay cut CBS wanted? No? Hmmm.
Jacksonville Jaguars – What about the joke of team in Jacksonville. Are the owners there really due more respect than the Jones family?
Oakland Raiders – Al Davis. Nuff said…
Kansas City Chiefs – And I realize that EVERYONE holds the Hunt family in Kansas City in high esteem. I'm just wondering why a family who hasn't produced an AFC champion since the 1960's and was convicted of financial crimes when trying to corner the Silver market is more highly respected than an Oil Wildcatter.
St. Louis Rams – The Rams have been a disaster for the last decade.
Arizona Cardinals – And certainly, the Cardinals have been a much worse franchise for a whole lot longer than the Cowboys.
When it comes to criticizing Jones for his inability to keep his mouth shut, and his penchant for making himself the star of the Cowboys organization, count me among his biggest critics. But over-the-top criticism from local sports writers like Frank Luksa and Randy Galloway, plus sportscasters like Dale Hanson, smacks of hypocrisy of the highest order.
Both Luksa and Galloway were major proponents of firing Landry. That they get to talk out of both sides of their mouths by criticizing Jones over that one issue is ridiculous.
Both of them are just “good ole boys” who are just as much hicks and rednecks as Jones. And Hanson took money from Jones for years as a broadcaster on the Cowboys network. That he could take Jones' money while pretending to be such a big critic is more than a little rich for me. And ESPN keeps milking the Cowboys cow for ratings and money by continuously exploiting them – even after two decades of mediocrity.
Like I said to start with, Jones deserves much of the criticism that comes his way. But pretending he is “the worst GM in the NFL” just displays a complete lack of perspective with how badly many of the teams in the NFL have been managed for a long, long time.
Heck, Jones is not even the worst owner the Cowboys have had. That title goes to Bum Bright – the guy who was too scared of Landry to fire “the man in the hat” himself. At least Jones had the cajones to do what Bright wanted to do, but was too much of a pansy to do on his own.
Some fans ask why any player would want to play for Dallas given their recent lack of success – One answer is that the Cowboys are far from the worst team in the NFL over the past two decades. Another is that Jerry Jones has shown repeatedly that he is willing to pay, and even overpay his players. Money matters, too – at least to players, if not as much to fans.
And speaking of money, all the players currently in the NFL, and those who have played in the last 25 years, owe Jerry a huge debt of gratitude for driving up the TV Broadcasting license rates – something which the players share in. If not for Jones, many current and past NFL players would be much poorer than they are, not to mention the owners.
I have a lot of bad things to say about how Jones has managed the team. But at least I have some perspective on how much worse it could be. Some fans need to get a grip on their emotions, and take an “eyes-wide-open” look at how badly many other teams in the realm of professional sports have been managed. Then maybe, while they might still be critical, they wouldn't find the Cowboys so “embarrassing.”
Believe me. It could be much, much worse – as many fans in other NFL cities would be happy to tell you.