In Defense Of Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones

How do you feel about Jerry Jones?

Dec. 4, 2011; Glendale, AZ, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Many fans will tell you they don’t like him.  Most will point to the unceremonious dismissal of the Tom Landry (who’s hat is this fansite’s namesake) as the reason.   The rest will tell you it’s because of that and because he chased Jimmy Johnson away.

On the surface, the first reason is understandable.  After all, how can you fire a legend?  The second reason I find a little ironic.  To say you don’t like Jerry Jones because he let Jimmy Johnson leave, (thereby denying the Dallas Cowboys a chance of winning a bunch more Superbowls), while also maintaining you don’t like him because he replaced Tom Landry with Jimmy Johnson in the first place just doesn’t make sense.  Regardless, if you look below the surface, it’s not fair to hold Jerry Jones completely responsible for either of those incidents.

I feel I should preface that I’ve been a fan of the Cowboys since 1978, and along with that a huge fan of Tom Landry as a coach.  How many coaches can boast 20 straight winning seasons?  The foundation of  ‘America’s Team’ was built by Tom Landry and Tex Schramm.  I openly bowed to the statue of Landry outside Cowboys Stadium.  I get it.

Dec 20, 2008; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys fan shows support for Tom Landry during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Texas Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

That being said, I also watched the games the Cowboys played in the late 80′s, pre-Jerra.  Many of  Landry’s coaching assistants, the brain trust,  had left the team to head coach elsewhere by this time.  The rest of the league had caught up to Landry’s genius.  The ‘flex’ defense was in a state of flux and Landry began to show signs that he had little confidence in his team to be competitive.  I think I broke another TV once when it was 4th and inches (like 2 inches) and Landry opted to punt.  It wasn’t the first time he’d done that.   If I’m not mistaken, I also remember a ‘free kick’ somewhere in there in those days as well.  Nothing says ‘I’m done coaching’ like a free kick.  I, for one, was calling for his head, or at least his retirement.  Bum Bright (and the more I research him, Bum is a good name for him), the owner of the Cowboys then, was openly disgusted by Tom Landry’s coaching.  Shortly there after, he sold the team to Jerry Jones – who was stuck doing the dirty work.

Jan 30, 1994; Atlanta, GA, USA; FILE PHOTO; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson on the sideline against the Buffalo Bills during Super Bowl XXVIII at the Georgia Dome. Dallas defeated Buffalo 30-13. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

As for Jimmy Johnson, he had a big ego.  A big ego is probably necessary in the NFL.  Problem was, Jerry Jones had a big ego as well.  As the championships came, the egos just got bigger.  They could no longer co-exist, so Jimmy left to go replace another legend, Don Shula, in Miami.  Now we all know that Jimmy had more to do with the personnel assembled in Dallas than Jerry, but Jerry hired Jimmy Johnson who in-turn assembled the personnel.  Jimmy Johnson’s leaving was inevitable.  Jimmy wanted to return to Florida eventually anyway.  He still lives there.  Jerry Jones moved to Dallas, he did not stay in Arkansas after he bought the team.  Jerry Jones was  ‘all in’, Jimmy Johnson was not.  The fall out, however, was that Jerry did not want to give up the GM role so Jimmy left.  This leads me to this:

All the people that say Jerry shouldn’t be or is not qualified to be a GM.  How many years do you have to be hands on in the NFL to be qualified to be a GM?  Is 23 years enough?  Even sports writers and analysts think Jerry Jones meddles and should just sit back and own, not run, the Dallas Cowboys.  This doesn’t make sense to me.  The idea of an owner sitting back and letting someone else run the team is common.  That’s not what doesn’t make sense.  Wanting or expecting Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys #1 fan, to sit back and let someone else run the team is what doesn’t make sense.

Think about it, if you – a fan – owned the Dallas Cowboys, would you just sit back and let someone else run your team?  (Right here, many of you would say something smart like “I would hire a ‘football person’ and let them run my team”.  Truth is, if you say that, you may be talking as a business owner, but not a fan.)    I wouldn’t.  For starters, being a ‘fan’, I have too many opinions about who should be playing for my team and who should be coaching to sit on the sidelines and not give my input.  Second, if I was in a position to buy my favorite NFL team, the Dallas Cowboys, (meaning I was a multimillionaire in the 80′s, or a billionaire today) I would, and I’d run it however I’d like.  I would not run it into the ground, and I would take and heed advise from other ‘football people’, but I would want and have input on everything.

If I owned the Dallas Cowboys, my favorite team going on 34 years now, I would like to think I could take them from a suddenly debt heavy $140 million team with a stadium that never got its roof finished that I bought in a fire sale due to the Savings and Loan debacle into a $2 billion (and counting do to the recent Dodgers sale)  sports franchise with a state of the art stadium and a completed retractable roof.  I’d make it one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world!  Nothing but the best for my Dallas Cowboys, because I’d own the team and I’m their #1 fan.  I’d like to think I could make that happen,  like Jerry Jones was able to do.

Now, I’ve brought back MY POINTS AND OBSERVATIONS:

-I have one word for Terrell Owens:  Sad

-Congratulations to the Romo family on the birth of their son, Hawkins

-And while I’m on the subject:  Are you kidding me right now?  Whats up with ESPN’s Dan Graziano and his rude, back handed article announcing the birth of Romo’s son?  It starts out ok, then the last paragraph throws in unnecessary stuff that does not belong in a birth announcement.  It was purposely indirect, but clearly meant to insult.  Dan, a birth announcement to promote Romo haters.. Really?

-Only 2 players should be on Dallas’ 1st round radar: Michael Brockers or Mark Barron

-Look up the   ‘Hail to the Redskins’  fight song.  Interesting part of Dallas Cowboys history

-I think this is going to be a big year for Victor Butler

-Anyone surprised when DeMarcus Ware said no Cowboys players or coaches ever had bounties?

Artie Cappello

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Topics: Cowboys, Cowboys Stadium, Dallas, Dallas Cowboys, ESPN, Jerry Jones, Jimmy Johnson, Mark Barron, Michael Brockers, NFL, NFL Draft, Terrell Owens, Tex Schramm, Texas Stadium, Tom Landry, Tony Romo, Victor Butler

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