It’s amazing to me how things can get so out of shape after a disappointing season in Dallas. Never mind that the team did win 9 games on one of the tougher schedules in the league, or that they lost a game to each of the eventual Super Bowl contenders by 6 points, one in overtime. It all comes crashing down.
It’s been a slow end of the week and weekend so far news-wise, so it’s easy to recap what has happened this weekend. There’s been two major stories to come out of Indianapolis at the NFL Scouting Combine, first is Wade’s now infamous “I can’t … against the rules” comment when asked for an update at the combine on Friday, and second is Michael Crabtree and his broken foot.
It’s nothing new for the Cowboys to be thrust into the media spotlight at any event in football, even during the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl the Cowboys were discussed in-game by the analysts calling each game. But the team usually never sinks to such a low as this, one man stepping up and claiming ultimate rule and power over a team, is that even possible?
Jerry Jones has tried to do it in the past, but he’s never been quite so successful at it until now. “I’m the guy that’s got the full picture,” Jones says, and he adds, “I just want to make sure you’re not getting bits and pieces of information. That’s not doing anybody any good and you’re not making accurate reports.” So please, let us see what is accurate.
Since Jerry Jones, who is now beyond any doubt Head Coach Jerry Jones, is the guy then we can safely say that the spread of misinformation amongst the media is his fault. Sure, he’s made it clear today that he wasn’t the one giving the false information to the press, but then he’s also taking control with his gag order, essentially placing his team on lock down. That’s to say that he has the power to do so, to control the situation, why else would he be doing this?
So that must mean that he failed to enforce his rule in the past, that’s how the misinformation leaked to the press.
He says “All I’m trying to say is basically that’s where you need to go to see where the status of that decision is.” Since he is the only Dallas Cowboy allowed to speak to the media now, it means that he is where to go for the status of all decisions.
So how about it Jerry … What’s going on with Terrell Owens? What is the plan to fix the woes of the 2008 season? How will you declare a leader for this team on the field? Who will be coaching the players? What players are staying and going? Can the fans sit down in this new stadium? Is team chemistry important? Is 9-7 good enough?
For most of that, he simply isn’t saying at this point. But Head Coach Jerry has stated that 9-7 is good enough, which brings me to my next point. Sure, the Cardinals went 9-7 and made it to the Super Bowl, they played their best football at the right time of the year. Let us not forget, though, that had they been in any other division they probably wouldn’t have gotten the chance to play their best football in January. The combined record of their NFC West opponents was 13-35, so Arizona knew they were in the playoffs in mid December.
Even the AFC West, with the Chiefs, Raiders, Broncos, and Chargers; still had more combined wins than the NFC West. And it took a week 17 showdown between the Chargers and Broncos to hold all teams in that division at no better a record than .500.
Being that the Cowboys play in the NFC East division, I think it’s safe to say that while a 9-7 division title can happen, it won’t for the Cowboys.
But the real question, the one that will not be asked at this event, or any other, is how can one man run a football team in the NFL? Jerry Jones has tried to do it for 20 years now, and while it started with the likes of Troy Aikman and Jimmy Johnson, without them this team hasn’t even won a playoff game.
A lot of the time, Jimmy Johnson is given credit for running a Super Bowl franchise, but he was just the Head Coach. He was the coach at a time when Jerry Jones didn’t know enough about the sport to try doing so much as he does now, and he had something extra. He knew how to approach Jerry Jones; he knew how to handle his players.
In the years since our last playoff win he’s tried it Jimmy’s way and been tough. He’s tried it Chan’s way and been lenient, he’s even tried being tough the Parcels way, and none of it has really worked for him.
Maybe he’s figured doing it the way someone else would isn’t good enough anymore, so he’s doing it his way, I don’t know. But I can tell you that gagging your entire coaching staff during their time of the year isn’t going to work.
Letting your players be the primary source of misinformation to the media isn’t going to work. Coddling your players with new deals and huge contracts whenever they want isn’t going to work. And bringing in fading talent isn’t going to work either.
The simple truth is that Jerry is asserting his control over this franchise without controlling anything. His players talk to the media, but his coaches can’t. He imposes fines to the players that are cheaper than my gas bill. His overpaid Offensive Coordinator interviews for every job available, every year.
The only thing Jerry is controlling is who gets more time in front of the cameras, and while he’s made it clear that his coaches aren’t good enough for it, he’s also made it clear that his players are.
Personally, I’d rather my coaches talking and my players working, not the other way around.