The Dallas Cowboys are the NFL's biggest marketing tool. With the label of “America's Team” comes plenty of recognition. Each season, regardless of their record, they always have a few or several of the most-watched games around the league. Simply put, when the Cowboys are on television people watch.
Tony Casillas won two Super Bowls with the Cowboys during their dynasty in the 1990s. He joined the K&C Masterpiece on 105.3 The Fan on Monday to talk about the current state of the organization. Always one to be upfront and honest, Casillas stated he feels there's a sense of entitlement amongst the players because of how huge the Cowboys brand is.
“There's this part of, maybe, there's some entitlement because of how big that brand is,” Casillas said. “If you go out to ‘The Star' that's just an unbelievable facility. They had that in the '90s. … But when you look at the Cowboys brand … If you're a player, your whole incentive is to brand yourself as a player. And you're living off what Jerry has done over the last 25 years. Sometimes, that's secondary, because you're still celebrated like you've done something when you haven't. It should be (about) ‘what are we doing to do to win?' For me, even my role of being with that franchise, I've been able to parlay (that into my career today) because I was on those great teams. To watch them perform the way they do, it's really bitter.”
Casillas dug in a little deeper when talking about what he feels when he watches the Cowboys these days.
“People ask me how I feel when I watch the Dallas Cowboys, and I say, ‘it's bitterness.' Everything else comes before winning,” Casillas said. “I guess it's because of the magnitude of the brand, and what Jerry has bestowed on everyone. And he's remarkable at that. But he hasn't been remarkable, as an owner and a general manager, he hasn't been remarkable about putting a winning product on the field, and it's been really, really disappointing.”
Since the Cowboy's last Super Bowl title in 1995, the organization has only managed three playoff victories, with none of them coming past the first round. Also, they're one of only three NFC teams since that time to not make the conference championship game (Washington Football Team, Detroit Lions).
The blame for the unsuccessful product on the field as well as the entitled culture that exists in many people's eyes in Dallas goes to Owner Jerry Jones. After all, he's not just the man that cuts the checks he's the team's general manager. Back in December, Jones said on the K&C Masterpiece that he can and will change the way he runs the Cowboys in the foreseeable future, making it clear that he'd do anything to bring a sixth title to Dallas.
“Do ya'll have any idea how much I'd write a check for if I knew for sure I could get that Lombardi Trophy?” Jones said. “It is the foremost thing. Not money. I had money when I bought the Cowboys. … There has never been but one thing, and that is win.”
It's easy for Jones to say he'll change his ways, but at 78 years of age, it's hard to believe he'd differ from what he's always done. Cutting checks is fine and all, but any of the other 31 billionaire owners in the NFL can do that. It's about putting the right pieces in place to compete for championships, and Jones has failed in that regard for a quarter-century.
There's no doubt that the Cowboys have a talented roster, however, in the city of Dallas it's about winning Super Bowls not headlines, which has seemed to be more important since the glory days of Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin. Something has to change and fast if the Cowboys are to return to the top of the NFL.