The last 16 seasons have been extremely rough for Dallas Cowboy fans. Only having 1 playoff win since 1996 is not what America’s Team is supposed to do. But what is the reason for such poor performances? Is it the coaching? The players? The fans? Yes all of these have major factors, however, the main person to blame for the terrible performances is no one other than Jerry Jones himself.
When Jerry Jones bought the Cowboys on February 25, 1989 the team was bound for success. After the team lost arguably one of the greatest coaches of all time in Tom Landry in 1988 the Cowboys needed a fresh start. Jones started off great, drafting Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman in his first draft and bringing in the great Jimmy Johnson as head coach. Even though their first season wasn’t great going 1-15 the Cowboys future was looking bright. Jones then was able to draft Hall of Fame players Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith to go along with a great supporting cast the ‘Boys where able to own the early part of the 90′s. They won 3 Super Bowls and where a team to be reckoned with.
After the 1993 season the tides started to turn for Jones. His “me” persona started to come out, making players and coaches not wanting to work for him. Jimmy Johnson left the team after the 1993 season because Jones wanted to make more personnel decisions and Johnson thought that the coaches and football guru’s should make those choices. Ever since this time Jones has made all the decisions and ultimately costing the Cowboys and their fans.
Since the Cowboys last Super Bowl in 1995 the ‘Boys haven’t been relevant. Jones has decided that he will do all the drafting, he will decide who plays what position and he will always have the final say. We have seen Cowboys teams recently have so much talent but yet always seem to fail and break peoples hearts. Jones since Jimmy Johnson has brought in head coaches that are considered “push overs” and will bow down to him. This because Jones needs to be in power and can’t have the football minds out rule the financial genius.
The Cowboys have had 5 head coaches since their last Super Bowl. The names of Chan Gailey, Dave Campo, Bill Parcells, Wade Phillips and the current coach Jason Garrett have all tried to change what the Cowboys have become. Each of these coaches haven’t lasted longer than 3 years and this is because Jones wants progress made right away. Progress cant be made right away when you have an owner constantly breathing down your neck making sure you are making the choices he wants. It seems like Jones is the head coach of the Cowboys but just doesn’t stand on the sidelines during the games.
Jones is worried about making his team more popular in the entertainment business than a threat in the NFL. In 2009 Jones had his new stadium finished and its not even a football stadium. Its more like an entertaining studio for fans and performers to have a good time in. Unlike other stadiums, this new Cowboys stadium allows fans to have one on one contact with the players before and after the game. There are dancers constantly dancing around the stands during the game to give more fans different forms of entertainment. Maybe this another big reason the Cowboys haven’t been relevant because their owner wont allow them to focus on their main task and that’s winning football games.
All of this Jerry Jones bashing brings us to this current season. The Cowboys once again find themselves in the mix of a playoff spot, however, its not looking great for Big D. The Cowboys defense is the worst in the NFL and is considered one of the worst of all time. Why is this you ask? You could blame some of this on the injury bug the Cowboys got hit with this season but most of the blame is on Monte Kiffin and Jerry Jones. Jones fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan last year because the Cowboys didn’t perform as well as Jones would have liked. Instead of pointing the finger at himself for not bringing in the right players for the system Ryan runs, Jones just figured it was all Ryan’s fault. So he brought in Monte Kiffin who invented the Tampa 2 scheme. The issue is that once again Jones didn’t bring in the right players to run this type of defense. Jones just thinks that changing coaches will fix all the problems. Jones has no idea what each of his players can do, he figures “oh you look like a good player, let me sign you to a huge contract and watch you not perform how I would like.” The funny thing is, Rob Ryan who is now the Saints defensive coordinator has the Saints ranked 3rd in the NFL in total defense, and the Cowboys remain average. Its amazing what having the right players does for a coach.
Jones also signs players to ridiculous contracts and gets the team into financial trouble. As of late the Jones has signed players such as Miles Austin, Anthony Spencer and Tony Romo to contracts that kills the team in their salary cap situation. Jones figures that if you have one good season then that entitles you to a multiyear and multimillion dollar contract that will haunt the Cowboys once they realize that player isn’t what they expected. It also puts the team in a tough spot when they have a player who is actually worth the money and is up for a contract to stay with the team but cant because they have no money to pay them due to the other contracts they are stuck in. A player like Jason Hatcher comes to mind, who deserves the money based off of his recent play but wont be able to stay in Dallas because they don’t have the money to pay him.
If Jerry Jones would just step to the side and just own the team, the Dallas Cowboys might actually be the winning team they once where in the early 90′s. Jones who is the president and general manger of the team really needs to just let the football experts do their jobs. Jones cant be everything just because he has a ton of money. Money doesn’t buy you wins, good coaches and a franchise that is ran correctly does. The Cowboys will remain Americas Team/Joke until Jones decides to let the reigns go a little bit. Until this day the Cowboys will never have a good coach like a Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden and they will never have the money to bring in the marquee free agent. No person will want to coach or play for the Cowboys as long as Jerry Jones is in total power. A general manger and president is needed badly in Big D. Maybe someday the ‘Boys will get their 6th ring……..maybe.