Analysts and sports enthusiasts around the nation think they know what is wrong with the Dallas Cowboys. Some say it’s the front office that is the problem. Some say it’s the coach and his complete lack of anything resembling a personality. Others say there is no real leader present on the roster. After much thought and deliberation I’ve come to the realization that the real problem with the Dallas Cowboys is none of the above. The problem lies in the apparent lack of “swagger.” Take a look at our roster and what kind of personalities reside with the team? How many current players can you think of on the Cowboys roster that have that “I’m going to pop you in your mouth, knock you to the ground, and then tell you all about how I knocked your teeth in,” type of personality? Now I’m not asking for another Pacman Jones or Tank Johnson on the roster. The last thing we need is a bunch of hoodlums. What I want to see on the roster is good players that step up and play smash mouth football. There has been players like that before on the Cowboys, and other teams, that have shown people that it’s alright to be a little messed up in the head, as long as it’s channeled properly.
Think back to a previous post I wrote about Charles Haley and how it’s a travesty he’s not in the Hall of Fame. What kind of football player was he? Did he get to the quarterback, take him to the turf, and then quietly get up and go back to the huddle? Absolutely not. Haley would do just about anything he could to beat you, and then he would let you know all about how badly you got beat. That man had swagger. And what did that swagger net him? Five championship rings. Now granted he played on some seriously good teams and honestly some people questioned his sanity. In the end none of that mattered when he could say he was the only player in NFL history to say he has five Super Bowl rings.
If you take a good look at the roster the Cowboys currently have it’s apparent that talent is not the problem. There is plenty of that to go around. Sure there are a few holes, but imperfect teams can still win a championship.
Take for instance the 2000 Baltimore Ravens. How many great players did they have on that roster? I would argue that the Cowboys have a roster with far more talent than what was on the the Ravens’ roster back then. Who was the quarterback for the Ravens? Lowly Trent Dilfer. The man could barely throw the ball 40 yards. How about receivers? Nothing to write home about. The reason that team won the Super Bowl was because they had guys that oozed swagger out of every pore. The defense loved to knock your teeth in and then get up and do it again and again. The leader of that team was none other than Ray Lewis. He still roams the field with reckless abandon and when he bleeds he doesn’t bleed red. It’s more of a neon green that screams “you can’t knock me down without you getting yours.” When you look up the word swagger you see Lewis’ picture. What I’m getting at is even though the team was not a juggernaut at all three phases of the game they still won a Super Bowl because they had that swagger attitude needed to excel at the pro level.
Now I know a lot of you keep saying the real problem lies in the front office, namely owner and general manager Jerry Jones. Teams have made it to the Super Bowl under some of the worst ownership in the past. Remember the 2002 Oakland Raiders. I would argue that Al Davis was one of the worst owners in league history. Sure he loved to stock his teams with the best players he could possibly lure to Oakland, but he usually was guilty of micromanaging his teams into oblivion. Yet despite the presence of Davis that didn’t stop the ’02 Raiders from reaching the Super Bowl. Sure they lost the game, but how far has the Cowboys been able to make it in the playoffs with the talent they have. Not near as far as the Raiders did that year, and they had a very talented roster paired with a over-demanding owner, just like the Cowboys have now.
So what do the Cowboys need to do to get over the hump and get to the Super Bowl? We have playmakers. There are plenty of them on both sides of the ball, especially after you take into account the free agent this year. What the Cowboys really need, and it’s no surprise, is a knock-down, drag-out, certified lunatic. Now when I say lunatic I mean a crazy in football terms, not necessarily someone from the mental ward. They need to either draft or trade for someone that is going to ooze enthusiasm and confidence and then be able to back it up. If someone like that can be brought into the fold then I truly believe everyone else’s game will go to the next level and all the other imperfections that get magnified daily will fall to the wayside. Unfortunately I think the Cowboys will live in mediocrity until someone like that is found.
So who do you think the Cowboys should get to fill this apparent void? Remember this is a fan view forum so live out your roster fantasies through the comment box below and let us know who could light a fire under this under-performing team. To get you guys started here’s a picture of the person I would trade for if I were given the reigns for a day. Have at it.