How it begins is how it goes, and Jerry Jones’ purchase and subsequent firing of Tom Landry erected him as a lightning bolt to controversy. Since 1989, Jerry Jones has been the ring master of America’s Circus.
Under Jason Garrett, there really hasn’t been any of that typical commotion. Dez Bryant’s momma drama has been the exception more than it has the norm. And both Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett want to keep it that way.
Garrett is a given. He comes from an NFL family that may not be as heralded as the Matthews and Mannings, but it’s nonetheless solid and has been around since the inception of the Modern Era. So we know his motivation for wanting to cut out the off-the-field distractions. And we all know how badly he wants to build a competitive football team, even if all he expresses are narcotizing sound bites about “the process,” “right kind of guys,” and “stacking good days.” I think Woody’s pull string from Toy Story had more phrases than Jason Garrett uses in an average press conference.
To me, what’s getting to be quite intriguing is how Jerry Jones has taken on the same interests. Look – I’m not one of the facile fans with the elongated incisors who feeds off of the media’s misconceptions about Jerry Jones the same way your pet dog licks up your pet cat’s vomit. I don’t believe Jerry Jones only wants to make money. Yes, the Dallas Cowboys have been among the top three in jersey sales, TV revenue, and overall profitability as a worldwide sports franchise since 1994. But Jerry Jones also wants to win badly. He sometimes gets in his own way because he’s stubborn. He wants to do it his way, baby.
Something different has happened to Jerry Jones this off-season. I think the frivolous collusive cap penalties shifted Jerry Jones’ focus to straightening things up on the field. After all, that’s where he said he wanted to settle his disputes with John “NFL Management Council” Mara. Then, you have Jerry Jones opening up training camp saying he wants the Cowboys to administer Red Forman-like justice on the Giants.
One could say it’s Jerry Jones fixating on the Giants, but Jerry Jones has also displayed other uncharacteristic traits. First, he tells the media Dez Bryant is on a short leash. Now, he told 105.3 The Fan’s Richie Whitt he considers Bill Nagy done for the year, and the dude merely sprained his ankle.
It’s evident what’s really at play. Jerry Jones has realized the theme of the Annie Lennox song “Money Can’t Buy It.” He’s had enough with the jersey sales, the stadium, the TV ratings, and the attention. It’s like fingernail clippings in an M&M Mini’s container to him. It’s the National Football League for a reason, and Jerry Jones wants his franchise to be competitive in the football aspect again. So, to him, as a player, you’ll either lead him, follow him, or get out of the way.
This is an optimistic moment for the Dallas Cowboys. The year 2012, although the end of the world, could be the beginning of a whole new era for the Dallas Cowboys. And Jerry Jones doesn’t want this to go to waste. The only concern I have is he does something fatuous like mortgaging a draft for a skill position when it’s the trenches – take your pick – that are lacking and wanting.
One thing is abundantly clear: for Jerry Jones, only wins can buy what his money hasn’t.