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Jerry Jones: Holding a Fan-base Hostage

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Cowboys Blog - Jerry Jones: Holding a Fan-base Hostage 2

With this being my first post on this site, I decided I would write about a subject that really strikes me to my core. I realize this is a subject that has been beaten down for years and years, but I wanted to put my own twist on it. It is a subject that no doubt many, many others share my exact feelings over, but that little to nothing can be done to change it. One man, and one man only, through his stubborn and selfish ways, continues to hold generations of fans hostage.

Owner and General Manager of the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones.

Only in title does Jones own this team. The true owners of the Dallas Cowboys are the ones who have been there long before Jones came in to the picture. The ones who, despite almost two decades of mediocrity, horrible drafts and downright gut wrenching performances, continue to live and die on every play. The ones that used to fill Texas Stadium and knew when to get up and scream, but now have to do so from home because they have been "priced-out" of the embarrassment of a football atmosphere known as Cowboys Stadium. The people that fill the stands today aren't real fans. Well, I take that back. It seems that half the crowd at Cowboys games today does have real fans, they just don't root for the home team. The other half, at least in the lower sections of the stadium, are more concerned with everything going on around the football game, not the game itself. And Jerry could care less about the true fans as long as there are asses in seats. I emphasize the word "asses" as in jackasses, because those are the ones who indeed represent the majority of the crowd.

I found some real clarity when I watched "A Football Life: Jimmy Johnson". Some others may have already heard this story, but it was the first time for me. In the documentary, Johnson was speaking of the point where things started to go awry when he traded for Tony Casillas and minutes later heard on the TV that Jerry Jones had traded for Casillas. Jimmy wasn't happy about it, and when he addressed the matter, Jerry said something to the degree of "I can make 10 million dollars and nobody cares. It is amazing how much people care about a backup offensive lineman. I want to be apart of that. I want to have some fun!". This confirms everything I thought I knew about the man. The Dallas Cowboys are his toy, not yours, and he will do whatever he wants with them. There is nothing anyone can do about it. It leaves me with a sense of helplessness and even apathy.


Owner/General Manager Jerry Jones (Left) & Head Coach Jason Garrett (Right)

Owner/General Manager Jerry Jones (Left) & Head Coach Jason Garrett (Right)

I truly envy organizations such as the Patriots, Steelers and even the hated Giants. They have a proven system that produces CHAMPIONSHIPS. You know, have a real GM that handles personnel decisions and has a plan in place...a coach that can coach a team the way he wants without having to answer to the owner...an owner that stays out of the public eye and just wants the team to win. Seems pretty standard, right? Jerry has said over and over that "his way" has worked in the past. The only time the franchise was successful under his ownership was when Jimmy took care of personnel and coached, and Jerry handled financial issues. But we all know that. Jerry is the one, and the only one, that believes he put that team together. Everything that has happened since has been proof that his system doesn't and never will work.

This franchise will continue to be haunted by the living ghost of Jerry until he either gives in to the heavy public outcry and hires a GM, or until he passes away and a situation similar to that in Oakland arises. But until then, we as fans have to continue to wallow in shame and embarrassment, and hope that somehow lightning strikes one year and we win a championship.

I realize this sounds a bit harsh, but it is simply my observation and opinion. I am aware that there are still some true-blue diehards showing up each and every Sunday, and to those people, I commend you. I find it difficult personally, to fork out the boat loads of cash necessary to even sit in the nosebleeds to watch disaster after disaster, with a few decent performances peppered in every once in a while. But the team's home record has been less than stellar lately, to put it lightly. Odds are that you have a better chance of witnessing heartbreak and disappointment over success. I am to the point now that I will no longer buy in to the off-season hype and buildup created by Jerry. I simply will not believe it until I see it, which may or may not be a sentiment that has permeated throughout Cowboys nation. I will still watch every single game and hope for the best, but these days, expect the worst.


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Dallas Cowboys

LB Justin Phillips Making a Case to Become a Roster Lock With Cowboys

Brian Martin

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LB Justin Phillips Making a Case to Become a Roster Lock With Cowboys

In Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch, the Dallas Cowboys arguably have the best linebacker duo in the entire NFL. They also have some pretty solid backups in Sean Lee and Joe Thomas, but the depth behind those four is completely up in the air. That is excellent news for an undrafted LB like Justin Phillips.

The former Oklahoma State Cowboy LB signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent after the completion of the 2019 NFL Draft. To go from being an Oklahoma State Cowboy to a Dallas Cowboy must've been a dream come true, especially for a kid from Pearland, Texas who rooted for America's Team growing up. The dream probably won't be complete though unless a roster spot comes with it.

Surprisingly, Justin Phillips has put himself into contention to earn one of those coveted roster spots. The way he has played in the first two preseason games has caught the attention of quite a few people, which should make it extremely difficult for the Cowboys coaching staff when it comes to making roster cut decisions. Dallas Cowboys Staff Writer and former Scout Bryan Broaddus agrees…

"Justin Phillips is going to make it hard on this staff to put him on the street. Not only is his finish impressive, but the awareness he plays with in pass coverage is impressive. There is no way I thought he had a chance for that interception, especially with this initial step into the line, but his ability to turn and run to a spot saved him."

Here is the play/interception Broaddus is referring to:


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The Dallas Cowboys have typically only carried six linebackers on their 53-man roster these past few years. With four spots already spoken for, Justin Phillips is doing his damnedest to lock down one of those final two up for grabs. That, of course, is easier said than done.

Phillips is likely competing with Justin March-Lillard, who led the team in tackles against the Los Angeles Rams last week and fellow undrafted rookie LB Luke Gifford. Gifford, of course, missed the game against the Rams with an ankle injury he sustained in Week 1 of the preseason against the 49ers. It was actually that injury that resulted in more playing time for Justin Phillips.

If you're doing the math here, that's three linebackers competing for two roster spots. March-Lillard probably has the upper hand right now over the two rookies, but I wouldn't say he's secured a job just yet. That leaves the door open for No. 44 (Phillips) and No. 57 (Gifford).

As much as I like Luke Gifford, and I do, I think the stars could be aligning for Justin Phillips to make it through roster cuts. He's playing really well right now, while all Gifford can do is watch from the sideline until he can get back on the field. Regardless though, it's a position battle worth keeping an eye on.

Do you think LB Justin Phillips has done enough to secure a roster spot?


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How Kris Richard May Help CB Michael Jackson Make Cowboys Roster

Jess Haynie

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Michael Jackson, 49ers

Cornerback Michael Jackson, one of the Dallas Cowboys' 5th-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, has not been standing out so far in training camp or preseason. But despite the slow start, the influence of Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard could help keep Jackson on the 53-man roster this year.

While no team likes parting with their drafted rookies, it certainly happens. That's especially true for Day 3 players, even 5th rounders, and particularly when a team is as deep with talent right now as the 2019 Cowboys.

The cornerback position is one of Dallas' most loaded. They go four-deep with starting talent in Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown, and Jourdan Lewis, which leaves just one or two roster spots for the remaining prospects.

Michael Jackson is in competition with veteran C.J. Goodwin and the intriguing Donovan Olumba. Both were with the team last year; Goodwin was a special teams contributor and Olumba was a valuable developmental asset on the practice squad.

So far this preseason, we've seen Goodwin shining on special teams and Olumba making plays at cornerback. Jackson hasn't stood out, unless you count jokes about thin he looks on the field.

In contrast, fellow 5th-round rookie Joe Jackson has been showing up at defensive end. Even if there were no suspension concerns with Robert Quinn and Randy Gregory, Joe Jackson has made himself very difficult to cut.

But despite not having that same momentum or energy around him yet, Michael Jackson may still find his way onto the 53-man roster. And that may have something to do with his position coach.


Kris Richard

Dallas Cowboys DB Coach Kris Richard

Since arriving in Dallas during the 2018 offseason, Kris Richard has quickly gained prominence beyond just his official role as the Defensive Backs Coach. He was working as the defensive play-caller last year and is expected to take over fully in 2020, assuming Rod Marinelli retires and Richard doesn't leave for a head coaching opportunity.

When Dallas selected Michael Jackson in the last draft, Jackson became the first cornerback or safety drafted by the Cowboys since Richard arrived. Given that it happened this year, with Richard's influence clearly high on the defense, one would assume that Kris had a big say in the decision to draft Jackson.

No, Richard certainly can't veto any decision made by the Joneses, Will McClay, Jason Garrett, or even Marinelli when it comes to roster management. But if he has any bias towards Jackson as his first draft pick in Dallas, Kris may fight for the rookie more than someone else.

We're all human; agendas come into play. Kris Richard may be more passionate about seeing Michael Jackson succeeding for a variety of reasons. He may pound the table for the team to keep Jackson louder than anyone else in the room.

That doesn't necessarily mean keeping Jackson over some other cornerback, either. The argument could be to go long at CB at the expense of another position; maybe only keeing two quarterbacks or eight offensive linemen to free up a roster spot.

This is purely speculative, of course. For all we know, Richard could be the first one who loses faith and votes to let Jackson go.

But given the situation and all factors involved, it's more likely that Kris Richard will be invested in seeing Michael Jackson succeed and sticking with the Cowboys in 2019. Hopefully, it's in the best interest of the team overall.


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Game Notes

DL Kerry Hyder Impressive In Cowboys Week 2 Preseason Win

Kevin Brady

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Kerry Hyder

Kerry Hyder joined the Cowboys this offseason on a one year deal, and while the four-year NFL veteran has put up some solid tape in his time around the league, it was hard to project just what he could bring to the Cowboys defense.

Listed at 6'2" 270 pounds, Hyder is a bit of a tweener on the defensive line. Though the answer to "will he play tackle or end" seems to be "both" to this point in the preseason.

As he fights for his life on this deep defensive line, Kerry Hyder had himself a day in the Cowboys 14-10 victory over the Rams last weekend.

Hyder made an excellent play defending a screen pass in the first quarter, reading the play perfectly and reacting quickly to running back Darrell Henderson coming out of the backfield. Hyder also created some pressure on the quarterback, and finished with 3 combined tackles in very limited playing time.

Hyder's versatility is working well for him as he looks to make the final roster. Like a Tyrone Crawford type player, Hyder will be able to move inside and out depending on the situation. This allows the Cowboys to be flexible in how they structure their depth chart on defense, and in how they decide to rush the passer on third down.


A pass rushing package involving Robert Quinn and DeMarcus Lawrence on the edge with the combination of Hyder and Maliek Collins on the inside could turn out to be a very dangerous one for opposing offenses to deal with.

Rod Marinelli spoke to this versatility a couple of months ago, showing just how much he values what Kerry Hyder can bring to this team.

"Maybe you adjust him sometime, once in a while – in a one-on-one pass rush situation, stick him over a guard and start to get a feel for it.” - Rod Marinelli

Earlier this offseason, I wrote that Kerry Hyder could end up being Rod Marinelli's next great under-the-radar find on the defensive line. And if he continues to play with the hustle and awareness that he had on Saturday, he's going to make Rod look very smart in his evaluation.

Kerry Hyder is making it very difficult for the front office to let him go. And, at the end of the preseason, I do expect Kerry Hyder to find himself on the Cowboys' active roster. Especially considering how Mike White is playing at quarterback, and how his release could open up an extra spot at a different position group.


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