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.
Buffalo Bills - Do you think the Buffalo fans would trade Ralph Wilson and his 4 Super Bowl losses for Jerry Jones? Yes, in a heartbeat.
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.
2018 In Review: Byron Jones Emerges As CB1
Heading into the 2018 season Byron Jones was being asked to prove himself. The former first round pick had fallen out of the coaches' good graces during his third season, though many of his struggles could be attributed to those very coaches which were then questioning his ability.
Being asked to play out of position, or at least in a spot which did not maximize his natural ability, Jones struggled in 2017. Too often he was playing in the box as a safety where his lack of physicality was exposed by the opponent's run game. This was mostly due to the coaching staff falling in love with his tight-end-erasing ability in man coverage, but backfired when overused as a safety.
Once hired the following offseason, Kris Richard and company decided to move Byron Jones to cornerback full time, allowing him to utilize his excellent coverage skills and athletic ability to the fullest, rather than putting him at a disadvantage in the box.
The results? Well, Jones had one of the best seasons of any cornerback in football, earning All Pro and Pro Bowl honors for the first time in his young career.
Byron Jones had a dominant season for Dallas
Pro Football Focus graded Jones as the sixth best cornerback in all of football last season, allowing just 0.79 yards per coverage snap. Despite not having an interception on the season, Jones still earned national recognition as one of the best cornerbacks in the entire league.
Down the stretch of the season, Chidobe Awuzie started to play up to the level which fans had hoped for during the preseason. He had been sticky in coverage most of the year, but now he was making plays on the ball at a much better rate, forcing incompletions. This led to an increase in targets to Jones' side, and though the increase resulted in more catches given up by the number one cornerback, I don't think Jones' play faltered as much as some will have you believe.
The fact is, when you get targeted more you are bound to give up more catches and yards. The key is to force them into contested catches, and make things as difficult for the receiver as possible when targeted.
Byron Jones continued to do this all season long, and fans should be excited for the next step of his growth in 2019.
Cowboys en Español: Comentando el Tope Salarial
Por muchos años, el tema del tope salarial ha sido un tema sensible para los Dallas Cowboys. Entre dinero muerto y otros problemas, el equipo ha tenido una situación delicada en este aspecto. Sin embargo, para la temporada del 2019 tienen más espacio de lo que estamos acostumbrados.
Según Over The Cap, los Cowboys tendrán aproximadamente 48 millones de dólares disponibles en 2019. Es importante recalcar que este número no es definitivo y puede cambiar. Año tras año, esta administración ha sido aficionada de reestructurar los contratos de ciertos veteranos para liberar espacio salarial constantemente. Además de esto, hay varios jugadores bajo contrato que el equipo podría decidir cortar para liberar aún más dinero.
Al ver sólo 48 millones disponibles, es complicado imaginar un escenario en que el equipo logre satisfacer todos sus objetivos. Hay bastantes candidatos a grandes extensiones en el equipo, principalmente dos jugadores. En una liga en la que quarterback es la posición más importante, la segunda más importante podría ser la del caza cabezas, cuyo objetivo es ir tras el quarterback contrario.
Pues en Dallas, hoy dos jugadores en estas posiciones que hay que extender. El más urgente sin duda es el defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. Lawrence se puso el jersey del equipo cuando este lo designó a jugar bajo la etiqueta franquicia. Afortunadamente, el atleta de 26 años la hizo de soldado y jugó sin amenazar con faltar a entrenamientos ni pretemporada.
Lo que sí comentó es que no pasaría por lo mismo en 2019. Ahora, el momento está aquí y es tiempo de que los Cowboys lo extiendan. El valor de Lawrence es difícil de predecir, pero es bastante seguro que se acercará a los números de Khalil Mack. Mack hizo historia ganando un contrato que en promedio gana 23.5 millones al año. Si bien no anticiparía que lo supere, la cifra estará cerca al contrato del defensivo de los Chicago Bears.
Además está Dak Prescott, cuyo contrato probablemente estará por encima de los 25 millones anuales. Son contratos caros, pero son piezas fundamentales para el equipo. Definitivamente se les tiene que pagar a ambos. Son pilares que año tras año buscan equipos en toda la NFL.
Además de esto, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, Cole Beasley y más podrían tener un impacto en el tope salarial. Algunos buscan un contrato nuevo, otros una extensión. Pero honestamente, me parece que habrá más espacio en el tope salarial de lo que pensamos. Sólo es cuestión de tiempo para que los Cowboys comiencen a reestructurar a sus veteranos para ahorrarse unos cuantos millones para utilizar en agencia libre.
Tyron Smith, Tyrone Crawford entre otros pueden ser buenas opciones para comenzar este proceso. Antes era Jason Witten uno de los candidatos favoritos para este proceso, pero él ya se encuentra comentando partidos para ESPN. En Inside The Star, continuaremos actualizándote con contenido al día de los Dallas Cowboys.
Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason?
Super Bowl LIII is in the books, and the Dallas Cowboys can look back on a better-than-expected 2018 campaign. Having won the NFC East with a 10-6 record and bowing out to eventual finalists Los Angeles Rams, the Cowboys' young team can look ahead to 2019 as a chance to take another step forward.
The offseason is now upon us, with the NFL free agency period opening in the middle of March and the NFL Draft coming around at the end of April. Until those times, experts, pundits, and fans are left to assess their teams and predict their activities in the running to the start of next season.
The Dallas Cowboys are in a precarious position, with the team exceeding expectations, still being very young and having plenty of cap space, but also having many top-end players set to become free agents and being without a first-round pick in this year’s draft. There does, however, appear to be a way for the team to make improvements and solidify their place atop the NFC East and potentially go on to win in the Conference Finals.
Lock Down the Big Guns
Many see DeMarcus Lawrence as the top potential free agent this spring, so the Dallas Cowboys need to do everything in their power to lock down the 26-year-old defensive end.
Vice President Stephen Jones has emphasized the team’s target of retaining their own stars, per Star-Telegram, with Lawrence, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, and perhaps Byron Jones being in the discussion for long-term deals.
As it stands, the team will have roughly $48.5 million in cap space for next season, which leaves plenty of space to re-sign their top players. They look set to let go of Tavon Austin, David Irving, and quite possibly Cole Beasley, among others, leaving a need to add reinforcements.
Adding New Talent
One of the most heavily rumored moves for Dallas in this free agency is picking up native Texan and former Legion of Boom linchpin Earl Thomas, per Forbes.
Against the Rams in the playoffs and throughout the season, the Cowboys lacked a defenseman who could make plays on the pass. Thomas is one of the notorious ball hawks in the league, boasting 28 career interceptions, three of which came in just four games of last season.
If the Cowboys can re-sign their stars while keeping some space for an Earl Thomas-sized contract, which clocked in at $10.4 million in 2018 for the Seattle Seahawks, their odds of going all the way next season will significantly increase.
Right now, the expected names of the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs lead the odds to win the next Super Bowl at +750. Behind them, the Rams sit at +900 having suffered a suffocating defeat in this year’s Super Bowl. Much further down are the Cowboys at +2500 right now with redbet. If they re-sign Lawrence, pay their young stars, and bring in Thomas, they’ll shoot up the table of favorites.
Then, there’s also the additions in the draft to consider.
The Cowboys may be without a first-round selection, but that may end up working in their favor. Round one of the 2019 NFL Draft is set to be laden with defensive selections according to most mock drafts, with a few quarterbacks sprinkled around and a minimal selection of offensive weapons. If the Cowboys re-sign Lawrence, they’ll be looking good at defensive end, so should then turn to giving Prescott another weapon in the passing game, which will also help to keep defenses honest and give Elliott more room to operate.
As stated, the NFL is a passing league, and Prescott exploded once he was given a viable option in Amari Cooper. Michael Gallup is expected to take another step forward next season, but just in case, the Cowboys can add another strong receiving option in the draft thanks to the strength of the defensive class. A.J. Brown of Ole Miss will almost certainly go in the first round, but exciting talents in D.K. Metcalf, Parris Campbell, Marquise Brown, and Deebo Samuel could all still be available when Dallas rings in during the second round.
Improving Dallas' pass options and pass defense will go a long way toward improving the team and allowing them to push on to a bigger and better campaign in 2019.
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