There is a common saying that “loose lips will sink ships.” If that were true, Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones would have a trail of wreckage in his path.
Jones has been the owner and general manager of the Cowboys since 1989.
During his tenure, the team hired eight different head coaches, drafted five Hall of Fame players and built a state-of-the-art stadium to fans' delight.
The Dallas Cowboys have been Forbes Most Valuable Team for 15 years in a row.
Not to mention, this organization has won three championships since Jerry signed that $150 million cashier's check.
So, why would anyone have a problem with how Jerry Jones is running his franchise? As an owner, he does an excellent job.
It is the executive role that causes heartburn.
There have been moments when Jerry's antics have been blown out of proportion.
Other times, he has provided ammunition to skeptics who believe he is inept as a general manager.
THE DRAFT BOARD DEBACLE
The best place to start this discussion is 2022.
The first day of the NFL draft had concluded but Jerry was just getting started. Dallas drafted Offensive Lineman Tyler Smith from Tulsa with the 24th pick in the first round.
With the media as an audience, Jerry reverted to his alter ego.
When someone asked him where Smith was ranked on their draft board, his response turned the internet upside down.
He not only provided a verbal response but a visual one as well.
Granted, it took a skilled person to capture a picture of the draft board as well as decipher what names were on it.
At that point, Jerry was treating their draft process similarly to how I conduct my fantasy football selections.
Entertainment superseded the importance of protecting the integrity of the work that his scouting department had completed.
The Arkansas native is a showman and that makes up a large part of his brand.
It is likely that will never change but it does deteriorate the overall image of their front office.
THE AMARI COOPER TRADE
Should Jerry Jones have traded Amari Cooper without a suitable solution at the wide receiver position? Possibly, but that isn't my main concern with the trade.
Getting a 5th-round pick and swapping 6th-round picks in a market where Marquise “Hollywood” Brown netted a 1st-round pick is unexplainable.
To be fair, Baltimore threw in a third-round pick.
Jerry orchestrated the Cooper deal as if he never played poker a day in his life.
The Cleveland Browns and every NFL team that needed a wide receiver saw Jerry coming with his entire hand of cards facing forward.
Cooper's salary did impact the Dallas Cowboys' leverage. He was a receiver with back-to-back years of 1,100 receiving and 13 combined touchdowns in 2019 and 2020.
His 2021 statistics in the fourth year with the team didn't do Dallas any favors.
However, once Jerry began speaking out against Cooper's play, he cut his own legs right from under him.
Teams knew that Jerry grew sour of the former Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver, and it was only a matter of time before the separation would take place.
As an effective general manager, you keep as much information as you can close to the vest. Jerry has to realize that he is not just a fan.
He is the top executive in the company.
When he opens his mouth about players that he knows he wants to trade, those crucial details will cost the team any remaining leverage they have.
The Dallas Cowboys had to find out the hard way.
The Mike McCarthy Joke
A head coach potentially on the hot seat comes with pressure all by itself. Accepting criticism comes with the territory.
However, when the snarky joke comes from your owner/general manager, you have officially hit rock bottom.
Jerry Jones decided to provide color commentary at a pre-draft news conference with his head coach sitting at arm's length of him.
What was Coach McCarthy thinking at that moment? No one knows.
The forced laugh that appeared on McCarthy's face in that moment was excruciating to see.
It felt like he was part of a Kevin Hart stand-up, and the joke was about him. But he was too afraid to say anything back because of the potential embarrassment.
Maybe I have a pathetic sense of humor.
However, it is equally realistic to believe that another head coaching candidate would look at that clip and find it less than hilarious.
Mike McCarthy may not be every fan's cup of tea, but he is the guy Jerry hired to lead this team to a Super Bowl.
Enlisting him as part of your media entertainment wasn't in the job description.
I believe the Dallas Cowboys front office drafts good players, puts a good product on the field and will continue to be contenders in the NFC.
They are also a team that is led by a general manager who is his own worst enemy at times. Unfortunately, two things can be true.