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Tony Casillas on Current State of the Cowboys: “Everything Comes Before Winning”

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.

What do you think?

Matthew Lenix

Written by Matthew Lenix

I write dope stuff about the Dallas Cowboys and what not.

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  1. Absolutely agree with everything Tony said. The winning is secondary which is the opposite approach of winning teams. His measure of success is different then the fans. He measures success by how much money he makes off the team and how visible they are. U have to wonder though when will the scales tip againest that all flash and no substance approach.

    One thing I don’t agree with is him saying they have a talented roster. They most certainly do not have much talent on this team

  2. As I said before , i agree with Tony , now look TALENT may not be the right word to use so the word i’d use IF the cowboys draft these defensive guys I’ve heard about and they live somewhat up to expectations , the cowboys will be one of the most COMPLETE teams in the NFL , 3WR1s , better than average TEs , 2 decent RBs , a QB which is debatable how good he is but i think he’s better than average , an O-Line WHEN they are able to stay healthy somewhat is better than average , and a D that i believe will be average to above average next year with these rookies , they’re one of the most COMPLETE teams out there which is why i’m adamant about tagging Dak so that we will get a real gauge as to how good or bad he is , I don’t want to pay him and then find out next year he’s just a more mobile Kirk Cousins and we’re screwed with monster contract for 4 or so years

    It’s like the question of which comes first , the chicken or the egg ? Dak hasn’t proven that he’s worth the price he’s looking for and yet we supposed to do that anyways ?

    It sounds like one of those ppl that go on Shark Tank with this idea and is asking for a insane evaluation when their sales are like nothing , and you know what happens ? THEY NEVER GET A DEAL , and yet that’s EXACTLY WHAT WE SUPPOSE TO DO apparently

  3. Gary, I get the augment about that JJ doesn’t seem to mind the status quo. Maybe he is too soft on
    the players in the way he praises underachievers.
    Perhaps, being the owner AND GM puts him in a perplexed position. On one hand as owner he wants to praise his players, but on the other hand as GM, then he is unable to be tough and call them out. Maybe he should just limit himself to being the owner and let someone else hold the players accountable.

    However, I don’t think he doesn’t care about winning, though.

    Also, I think their offense is pretty talented, if the injured O line players come back strong. I know that’s a big IF. The defense, obviously, has to be upgraded. But if they draft and/or FA well, those holes may be filled. Special team with Zuerlein and that new punter, Niswander, should be pretty good now.

    But are they Chief like talented, obviously not yet.

  4. But watch … let’s just say that Jerry does allow others in the Front Office to run the show … he’ll still not receive credit from the masses … they’ll holler that it was a one-off season and they won in spite of, not because of, Jerry Jones.

    Secondly, i disagree with the notion that he de-values winning over sales. As good as he is at marketing and keeping this team relevant, it’s made that much easier by winning. He know that if he wins, marketing costs are reduced.

  5. Maybe i need to clarify my statement. Im not suggesting that Winning isn’t important to Jerry. But I think his ego won’t allow him to admit that just maybe he would be better served finding someone other than himself to be the GM of this team. Maybe a real football guy. As VAM said it’s really a conflict in interest for him to be the marketing/ sales guy AND the GM. But its his team and he wants to call all the shots.

    He’ll never relinquish that power. He wants to win another SB….but he wants to be the guy that brings it home. Ego is a powerful thing and no owner is more egotistical than Jerry.

    Yea I think the special teams additions, the continued development of their young players, the full offseason, the multiple high picks in the draft and the coaching staff having a full season under their belt will all serve them well moving forward. Plus lets not forget they had an unprecedented amount of injuries as well. We won’t win the SB next year but we can take steps to build towards that.

  6. What happened to the Jerry Jones who wasn’t afraid to pull the trigger on big name player trades? He did a lot of wheeling and dealing back in the 90’s and it earned the team 3 SB trophies in 5 years. He needs to return to that way of doing things

  7. Do not pay Dak he is an average Qb at best can’t beat the big teams I don’t care if he throws for 5 k yards and 30 tds and 5 picks if you can’t beat the big teams move on he will tie our hands for 4 years with the huge contract he wants and no Super bowls to show for it and any talent we have now will be wasted…

  8. TC, concur… the right pieces at the right time. JJ has been miserable. JJ got rid of a coach [JJ] who knows who to coach and demanded performanceexcellence. JJ let players [DeMarcus Lawrence, DeMarcus Ware] walk whom was the centerpiece of the Team identity and there is no transition plan.JJ hang on to a Coach, for 10 years, that was a C-. And now JJ hires an Coaching staff that converted good and talented D into one of the worst D unit in Cowboys history! Let’s not forget the bargain hunting mentality in FA… U got to an exceptional player, at least ONE, in every football team units. U got2. So JJ, after 25 years, Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon, decided to relinquish is position @Amazon to focus on related opportunities. At 78, may u2 should do the sameAfter-all u cannot terminate yourself due performance.

  9. I think we should trade the Jets for the number 2 pick. We give them Dak and Zeke, in return we get Williams and the number 2.
    I would then take the number 2 pick and either trade it for picks or draft Sewell. With the 10 pick id honestly trade it for picks also or draft Farley. I think there is a lot of guys we could use later in the first round. QB id draft with a later pick would be Mac Jones. Hes got a great head on his shoulder. Put him on the bench for a year behind Dalton.
    I think helping our oline/defense and Dalton having a full offseason with the team would make us a playoff team.

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