Dallas Cowboys Need To Be Thinking of Next Year—Already

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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

By now you already know about the carnage that took place last Sunday evening in New Orleans. You likely remember the mess that transpired in Detroit late last month.

Simple fact is this: The Dallas Cowboys just aren’t a very good football team.

As opposed to recapping all of the historic defensive failures that have transpired over the last two seasons under as many different defensive coordinators and schemes, the time has come to look forward.

Owner and general manager Jerry Jones isn’t likely to tell anybody what exactly he’s thinking right about now. Forget his quotes and statements to the media that never really mean a whole lot. It’s more likely that they mean nothing at all—I can’t personally fault him for not disclosing his innermost thoughts about the future of his franchise, his business.

Nonetheless, it’s quite discouraging to hear his baseless and uncertain optimism following Dallas’ 49-17 loss to the Saints. When pressed on Monday about how his .500 team enters its bye week in the shape it’s in, Jones told Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News the following:

Can we get in here and use this time off, get some of our guys back and get a little healthy and come up with some ideas of how to go against the rest of this schedule and see if we can have a happy year? This year, not next year. This year.

Did he really use the words “happy” and “this year” in the same breath or two?


On Tuesday, Jones was quite defiant when asked about the status of his franchise, a clear sign that he knows that his plans have already failed and that he simply doesn’t want to be reminded of that fact anymore. He offered more to Machota of DMN:

We’re 5-5. We’re tied for the lead in our division. We’ve got players coming back. We’ve got one of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League. We’re off a rough loss. That doesn’t call for major changes out here at all.

Of course it doesn’t–never mind the fact that the NFC East is what is.

Jones doesn’t want to address the following: Dallas is a team that’s setting all of the wrong records for opponents this year—check those box scores of the Saints and Lions games, in case it’s slipped your mind.

Jones doesn’t seem to realize the central issue here.

It has never mattered who the head coach is, or was, since the departure of Barry Switzer following the 1997 season.

It has never mattered who the offensive linemen are.

Same goes for the quarterbacks, running backs and practically all other aspects of America’s Team for well over a decade.

Think about how much has changed for this team beginning with that telling ’97 campaign, which didn’t include a postseason appearance for the first time since 1990—even the stadium has changed, not that this has mattered one bit in the standings beyond 2009.

The Cowboys are not a relevant franchise in the NFL, period.

The time has come for Jones to be looking ahead, but I’m not talking about the next game at New York to face the Giants.

I’m talking about next season and beyond.

Now, this is not another tired plea for Jones to step down, finally, as GM of the Cowboys—I’m not that naïve.

I will say that Jones needs to be thinking about his next head coach and also the ways in which he will allow that true, qualified head coach to restore the Cowboys to relevance. This means that Jones will have to pull a similar move to the one he did following that final and third consecutive 5-11 campaign under former head coach Dave Campo in 2002. This primarily includes getting out of the way enough for a guy like Bill Parcells to function.

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  • David Kerr

    If you think the cowboys have no chance this year you need to look at the players they have coming back and think about how much better they make this team. Look at the remaining schedule and call me in the morning.

    • Jd

      Couldn’t agree more Dave. And besides the fact that we’ve already beaten 3 teams on our schedule already, Giants, Eagle’s & Washington. & 2 of them rather soundly. And for as bad as the defense has played, and with the amount of injuries we sustained, no other team in the league could have done any better than us. And when I hear about the amount of yards we’ve given up, Denver, okay. Sorry we couldn’t hold the greatest qb with the most weapons to understand 400 yards passing, my bad. And if I’m not mistaken, we pretty much put up exact same yardage against them. The Giants game, seriously? More than half of the yards the Giants gained was after we had a 21 point lead in garbage time. Detroit, any qb can throw the ball in the direction of CJ, who’s 8 effin foot tall and let him out jump anyone. And the Saints, come on, we were missing 5 starters and lost 2 more during the game. And the Saints destroy everyone at home. But we get no credit for holding Philadelphia to nearly nothing in yards & only 3 points in their building. No credit for the fact that we were one first down away from beating Kansas City, who we outplayed. And no credit for shutting down the Redskins in the red zone on every occasion except once. Everyone always looks at the negative with this team.
      And you’re absolutely right. 2 weeks off, we’re going to be healthier on both sides of the ball and we’re playing a Giants team who is worse than us. I don’t care how many yards we’ve given up or points in 3 games. We’ve been blown out once this season & it took 10 weeks for it to happen. The Giants have been blown out in 4 of their 6 losses. And they should have lost to the Raiders.
      And I know how bad and inconsistent our offense has been. But with 2 weeks to get ready for a team who’s offensive line is awful, and we’ll have a healthy ware & Hatcher together. A secondary that can’t cover my 2 year old daughter is about to get dose of a PO’d dez & a healthy Austin Miles back. And their front 7 can’t stop the run, Murray will run all over them.
      And yeah, our run defense has been brutal. But we’re facing brown & hillisn, not sproles & Ingram.
      This is our playoff game. We win, we’re in. We lose, season’s over.

      • David Kerr

        Glad to hear another Cowboys fan that’s able to think rationally still.

    • Jd

      And something else. Isn’t it funny how teams like Pittsburgh, Atlanta, the Giants & Houston were allowed to use injuries as an excuse for horrific starts & bad seasons? But if it happens to us, we’re told it’s just football, suck it up, it’s part of the game. We lost more starts on defense than all those teams, played with guys who haven’t played football since 09 & guys who were cut by teams this year because of too much depth. Yet, here we sit, still in first place and have a better record than all those teams. And they were all picked to go to the playoffs too.

    • jercon625

      Who cares who’s coming back. When they WERE here we were what, 1-1, 2-2, or maybe we were 3-3. Simply put, this is another 8-8 team, and if that’s enough to get into the playoffs, then we will just get drilled in the first round of the playoffs. This team just has no mental toughness to it at all and there just comes a time when we’re going to have to admit that this really is not a very good team. I have been a Cowboys fan for 37 years and this is the first time EVER that I am starting to lose interest in them. You see, I am 100% confident that, with Jerry Jones as GM, all is hopeless.

      • David Kerr

        I guess we will have to wait and see..

  • BigDawg72

    Its in the water so they need to change the tanks.

  • Marc M

    We’re on this site because we are cowboys fans. If you think the cowboys have a chance this year you are clearly blinded by your love for the team. I love them too but you have to look at what is real. It does not matter who returns to the line-up. This year is shot and maybe next year to. As long as we have a Owner who is GM, Coach, OC and DC we will never be an elite team. We have wins against who….teams that are worse than we are. We are Last in the league on D, you can’t give up 4 to 5 hundred yards game and expect to win, we can’t run or throw. Did you see the post on sports channels, JJ will ensure that DEZ gets targeted more from now on….Since when is he the OC and Coach?! See this is the reason we will never be great until this dumb a** sells the team to someone who cares about the Cowboys and it’s fans, not his ego and image. Everyone JJ drafts is soft. As far as the schedule…which team on there did you see Dallas blowing out…..none. The truth is that they can’t. OC & DC lost! They just watch the game like we do but they get paid for it…neither can adjust to opposing schemes. Get ready for 8-8 if your lucky!

    • jercon625

      Now I am glad to hear another Cowboys fan that’s able to think rationally still. Seriously, how many other owners do you see go around and say “this is what we are going to do on Offense, or defense”. As if your HC, OC, and DC have no say so in anything. The only other owner that I know of who did that was Al Davis, and we all know how is Raiders turned out don’t we. I live in Michigan, and the games that are in our region are Detroit, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Chicago, and Cincinnati. I couldn’t even tell who those owners are because you never see them in TV interview, or radio talk shows like you do with Jerry Jones.

  • SmartThinking

    Some of you guys are delusional if you think there’s gonna be a happy ending to this story. The three divisional teams this Dallas team has yet to play are clearly different teams from those Dallas faced and beat earlier this year. It’s foolish of you to think any of these teams are just going to roll over and give the Cowboys a win because they lost to Dallas a month or so back. New York has won all it’s games since 8 and 8. Their game against Dallas will be their Super Bowl. Dallas will struggle but win. Washington is playing much better football than earlier this season. Washington will be playing their Super Bowl against Dallas as well. It’ll take everything this team has to win this game. I’ve got it pegged at 50-50 at best Dallas wins or loses. If they lose, the season’s lost. Philadelphia is playing very strong ball right now. There’s no reason to think they’ll tank the rest of this season. By the time these two teams meet, assuming Dallas is still in the hunt, then that game will be OUR Super Bowl. Will history repeat itself three times in a row? At the beginning of this season, I’d have made book that Dallas would prevail and sweep the division. After the emotional crushing New Orleans defeat, I have serious doubts this team can win more than two, maybe three games more. This team is seriously broken and New Orleans opened it up and revealed the ugly truth. As much as I’d like to see Dallas make the post season tournament, there’s just not enough left of this team to make it so.

  • jrcowboy49

    And Jerrah should reflect on his terrible draft decisions using the 2013 NFL
    draft as one example.

    Poor value for trading the 18th pick, allowing SF to draft high performing
    safety Reid, drafting a OC in round 1 that could have been had in round 2, and
    not drafting a OG, OT, DT, or DE. As for the drafts under this idiot, Jerrah’s
    chickens have come home to roost!

    The Cowboys record of 134-134 since 1997 is the smoking gun and would be the
    head of any GM!

    Unacceptable! We need a GM who understands football, allows the Coaches to
    coach, and recognizes talent!

    Dallas is an average talented football team at best and the fans deserve