By Martin Iheke
If there is one problem the Dallas Cowboys franchise has right now, it is the gaping hole in their front office. A hole that in 31 other cities across the country is filled with individuals with varying degrees of football knowledge that are brought in to construct franchises. This position is aptly titled general manager (probably because they generally manage). Our current general manager happens to be none other than Jerral Wayne Jones, Sr. aka Jerry Jones. In most cities owners own teams and hire other people to run them – not true in the Big D, the city where our owner does everything but paint the end zone and we are not entirely sure that he doesn’t do that as well.
When the road gets rough for the Cowboys and you are reminded of why they haven’t seen the Promised Land in 17 seasons, you can complain about the current group of players and coaches like quarterback Tony Romo and head coach Jason Garrett all you want. At the end of the day, Jones steers the ship. Unfortunately he it’s often into barrier reefs, monsoons and the occasional Kraken.
Jerry loves to be in complete control of things. That is all he really knows. It is how he has become a very successful businessman and an owner in the NFL. The problem is that when it comes down to it he’s just not very good at running a franchise in the facet of being a GM. He is almost terrible at it. He doesn’t evaluate talent very well and almost breaks out into hives when head coaches like to do crazy things like coach the football team. Little Jerry was probably that kid in the sand box that beat you with the little plastic shovel if you tried to show him the best way to make a castle.
There was a time when owners were owners and coaches were coaches here, 1989-1993 the beloved Jimmie Johnson era. It’s now a time that seems almost as mythical as unicorns or Lindsay Lohan sobriety. In those years Jimmy chose the players and coached the team and the Cowboys won, and they won a lot. But inevitably when those teams started turning it around, it was assumed that Johnson not Jones was the biggest reason the success. You can be sure that that opinion didn’t sit well with a guy who is known to leave his owner’s box and stand on the sideline behind quarterbacks who don’t play well.
After winning back-to-back Super Bowl titles, it was to the point that Jimmy and Jerry could no longer co-exist. Jimmy left and since then Jerry has reigned supreme over the day to day front office responsibilities of North Texas. The day of democracy was over and the almost endless night of tyranny began. The decision to part ways with Jimmie left the Cowboy faithful, including myself, baffled. How could you get rid of a coach who just won back-to-back Super Bowl titles? It was obvious why; Jerry could not stand not getting all the credit for the success. Now even in the wake of any other GM’s résumé suicide he is too stubborn to admit that he has been a total failure as GM since Jimmy left in 1994. Sure they won one more Super Bowl, but shortly after that those great teams of the early to mid ‘90s started to erode in Greenlandic glacier proportions. Since the start of the 1997 season, the Cowboys record is 123-123 with only ONE playoff win. For one of the league’s most storied franchises, this is absolutely unacceptable. Now who is the only person that is currently with the Cowboys that has been here that long? You guessed it, Jerry Jones. If any GM around the league had this type of track record, he would have been given the proverbial heave-ho and would most likely be residing in Cleveland by now. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, the owner has chosen not to fire himself.
At some point, Jerry is going to have to realize that being GM is not what is best for the team. There have been seven different head coaches under Jones since he bought the team in 1989. Before that, the Cowboys only had one, Tom Landry. This should tell all Cowboys fans something. Right now, everyone is mad at Garrett because of his inexperience as head coach which shows in the questionable play calling and horrible clock management. Everyone is mad at Romo because of his inability to get it done when it matters the most. That is fine and all, but everyone needs to look at the big picture. Garrett and Romo have not been with the Cowboys for the last sixteen years. It is time the media, locally and nationally as well some of the former players, start calling Jerry out for the terrible job he has done. Since he will not swallow his pride and fire himself as GM, I do not believe the Cowboys will win anytime soon and as a fan I hate to admit that. Based on his track record, I do not know how any Cowboys fan can believe otherwise.