For example, if it was just about winning, do you really think that Jones would have opened the door for former head coach Jimmy Johnson to exit the franchise immediately after back-to-back Super Bowls?
Ponder that question and let the answer sink in for a minute.
The obvious answer is no. Jones should have been moving heaven and Earth to convince Johnson to stay for at least one more year, if not several. Money could have probably bought that, but Jones wasn’t interested.
Not only did Jones open the door for Johnson, but he also brought in a head coach that was a heated rival of Johnson’s going back to his days at Oklahoma State. Remember that successor Barry Switzer was a disgraced former head coach at Oklahoma when Jones invited him to come babysit the best team in the NFL in 1994.
There was nothing but ego associated with that bizarre decision.
Today we see a similar problem for Jones, except the figures and circumstances are a quite different.
In this particular case, there’s no Johnson to get under Jones’ skin. This time it is the media itself, along with a growing number of Dallas fans, that really sees no credibility in the product Jones is putting on the field.
Knowing that questions about Garrett’s job security, as stupid as those are, were on the way following another embarrassment at the stadium formerly known as Cowboys Stadium last weekend, the Dallas Morning News captured Jones’ frustration at the suggestion that perhaps Garrett might not be here in 2014:
Let me be real clear, my refusal to comment one way or the other is not in any way a change from anything that I’ve said earlier about Jason’s future as our coach. Let me be real clear, and that’s all I’m going to say about it.
It might have been clear to Jones, but as I said before, it’s becoming less and less clear to everybody else why he’s so glued to an inexperienced head coach who’s never done anything worth mentioning—takeaway a big Thanksgiving Day victory as Troy Aikman’s fill-in back in 1994—in the NFL. Garrett questions continued, of course, and Jones’ frustration began to poor out of his ears:
Don’t. Don’t. I don’t need a chance. I slammed that door back here, when was it, four weeks ago. That door was slammed. I don’t need another chance. And y’all shouldn’t ask for one every time you see me under any circumstances, whether we’ve had a bad practice or whether we’ve had, as we had today, a real disappointment.
We have all felt like Jones does right now, at least at some point in our lives. Somewhere along the line, we had an idea that we thought was great, we built our plans around that and later came to find out that it wasn’t going to pan out the way we had hoped.
Jones might have a lot of money, but he’s just a human being like anybody else. The only thing a little more unusual than his financial portfolio is the size of his ego and the amount of insecurity he carries.
One truth that Jones is having to absorb, especially as December crawls ahead for the Cowboys, is that Garrett is not the guy to take this team anywhere. Perhaps another more significant fact is that the Dallas roster is littered with holes and financial liabilities because of—well, because of Jones!
It’s true that the Cowboys could still win the sub-par NFC East and that Jones might open the stadium doors one more time for the wild-card round of the NFL playoffs. But this, by itself, does not and will not make the Cowboys a contender. It would certainly assure another season of mediocrity with Garrett disguising himself as the play-caller that he sure seems to be, but Dallas will still face a ton of problems heading into next season.
The Cowboys are cap-strapped and face the difficult task of rebuilding a defensive line that has been below average for many years. With a trip to the playoffs, Dallas will be expecting Garrett to advance deeper into the postseason next season while somehow trying to master the basic art of running a successful offense that can be described as multidimensional—seemingly easy to do since there’s only two dimensions on offense to worry about.
But those above challenges seem to pale in comparison to what Jones is facing if a Dallas loss this Sunday to Washington is combined with a Philadelphia victory against Chicago Sunday night. In this case, the Cowboys are officially done and the mother of all “uncomfortable” offseasons will begin. This time, however, it should be Jones, himself, that feels the most discomfort.