The Dallas Cowboys are one of the most interesting teams in the NFL. The problem is that what is most compelling to America about its team is not really the team at all…it’s the oftentimes weird and wacky behavior of our illustrious owner, Mr. Jerry Jones.
The most recent example of this came when Jones laid out his plans for QB Tony Romo, not in private, but in an interview situation. Not good, Mr. Jones. Not good at all. It would have been almost impossible to miss Jones’ comments, since ESPN latched onto the quoted text and played it at every possible opportunity in the ensuing days. However, for those out there who were out of the loop last week, Romo’s boss basically gave some ground rules for his multimillion dollar investment by saying his quarterback would be spending more time at The Ranch. Peyton Manning type time, whatever that is supposed to mean. How Jones got the numbers on just how much time Eli’s older brother spends at work, I have no idea. What I do know, though, is that comparing one quarterback’s work ethic to another in a negative way is a big no-no. This is especially true when you have just pledged your devotion to your own signal caller to the tune of $118 million.
Maybe this is Jones’ way of covering his posterior after taking some heat for giving Romo such a generous deal when his career has included only one playoff win and some pretty major boo-boos in big game situations. Perhaps he is letting Romo know that the pre-playoff rendezvous with a certain blonde actress in Cabo hasn’t been entirely forgotten. It could also be that Jones is hinting to his field general that he needs to spend more off-season time in the film room and less on the golf course. All this is speculation, of course. None of us can safely assume how Mr. Jones’ brain works and we have come to expect the unexpected when he sees fit to open his pie hole to the press.
Both Jones and Romo’s critics would do well to remember that it took Peyton Manning quite a few seasons at the helm of the Indianapolis Colts before he got over the post-season hump. Even as recent as this past season, Manning led his team to a 13-3 regular season record before faltering in the divisional round of the playoffs. I haven’t heard about any time clock installers rushing to Broncos headquarters so far.
If Tony Romo is ever going to find his way to playoff prominence in the league, he will have to figure things out in his own way. Having his owner lay added pressure on his shoulders on the heels of his already controversial contract extension is not fair to Romo or to the team his is trying to lead.
If Jones is so worried about clock management, he might want to pay more attention to a certain carrot-topped coach who, in a game-winning situation, saw fit to ice his own kicker with a timeout. That game ended up sending the New York Giants on to Super Bowl glory and the Cowboys home for the winter. Huh…