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.
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.