Jerry Jones, along with Stephen Jones and Jason Garrett, revealed that he is at least aware the Dallas Cowboys have been mediocre and all the reasons why.
Sometimes, when your Cowboys team blows, it’s oddly comforting to know that the coaches, GM and owner of the Cowboys acknowledge they did, even if it wasn’t until this past week. Their comments during the combine were mostly subtle but sometimes blunt. With each comment about the defense or a particular player’s performance, though, I couldn’t help but respond with an agreeing “yes!” “exactly” or a sarcastic “you’re singin to the choir Jerry” (actually it was ‘no sh*t Sherlock’ ). Kidding aside, I was happy to hear they saw some of the same things I did during the season, like the Defensive and Offensive line play. Saw the same players under-performing, like… well, take your pick.
About Miles Austin, Jerry Jones came right out and said, (while doing a little of his usual benefit of the doubt routine) “I’m completely betting a hundred percent that his injury really impacted not only him and his performance, but it hurt our team.” Really? Did Jerry just agree with what we all clearly saw last season? Like when Miles Austin ran 90% on that wide open pass play against the Giants. Way to go Jerry!
On the Offensive line, Jerry Jones said – “I can say that the offensive line has been a significant contributor to us being a mediocre team.” Pretty blunt, don’t you think? He then admitted, ” I may be the biggest reason why it is because ultimately it’s my decision. It was my decision to go with who we went with in 2010 and then in 2011 to change who we went to and go. Ultimately that falls on my shoulders.” Was that Jerry Jones the GM saying it wasn’t his best work?
Jerry was much more subtle with a comment about the obvious drop off in play of Doug Free, saying “We knew when we gave him the money that one way or the other he was going to be on the field for us. And I’m not at all dismayed by the year that Free had, but certainly want him to do better and let that sack total against him go down.” Subtle, but clearly Jerry Jones was acknowledging that Free was a swinging door that almost got his franchise QB killed (that’s what got Marc Colombo fired. If Doug Free was as old as Colombo… see ya) . Good for you Jerry!
Of all Jerry Jones’ comments, though, I think I liked the balance he showed when talking about Terence Newman. He acknowledged the bad – “There has been a difference in his play. How much of that was because of a new scheme you can make a question” – But then, Jerry said a very (dare I say) GM thing when talking about cutting Newman. He said, “He still has his speed. What you have to do to complete this whole comment is tell me what you’re going to do to replace him, and we’re not there.” If we are honest about it, Jerry Jones is right. Think about it, let’s say we draft a corner in the first round to replace Terence Newman. Does a first round corner automatically upgrade the position? Are any of us sure about first rounder Mike Jenkins after 3 years?
Jason Garrett and Stephen Jones also acknowledged the poor performance of some of their players and the over all poor play of the Defensive unit and the Offensive line. Garrett intimated that the regular inability of the Defense to get penetration made the secondary look worse than they really were. It was refreshing to hear, mainly because we like to think of Garrett as an offensive coach that doesn’t really get involved with the other side of the ball, but also because what he said was true. Garrett also said that improved offensive line play would really open up things for Tony Romo and the running game. Think about that. Romo threw for over 4,000 yards last year, how scary good does it sound when Garrett says the O-Line can ‘open things up for Tony’ with improved play.
Stephen Jones, the salary cap (and defacto personnel guy no matter what anyone says) thinks that Tony Romo is one of the top QB’s and is in his prime, maybe for the next 4 or 5 years, but acknowledges that times-a-wastin. Because players like Jason Witten, Jay Ratliff, and DeMarcus Ware are also in their prime, “The time is now” Stephen says, but the Dallas Cowboys can be built to be Superbowl contenders with Tony for years to come. Ok, I don’t know about that, but lets understand the point he was making. Tony Romo is a ‘Franchise QB’, bottom line, and gives the Cowboys the best chance of winning now and for the next few years. If we draft a QB to replace Tony, we won’t be contenders now and not for a few more years. This is just plain logic.
The Jones family owns the Dallas Cowboys and have chosen to let Jason Garrett coach the team. Cowboys fans often don’t like how these guys run the team, mainly because its been so long since we’ve been to a Superbowl. Can’t fault the fans for that, we are America’s Team after all, but its good to see that just maybe Jerry, Stephen and Jason actually understand. As that saying goes.. Admitting the problems is the first step.