Nov 18, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam meet prior to the game at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Jerry Jones Isn't Ruining The Dallas Cowboys

If you have talked about the Dallas Cowboys in the past 10-15 years, chances are that you’ve talked about owner and general manager Jerry Jones. And complained about Jerry Jones. And continued to complain about Jerry Jones.

To hear most Cowboys fans tell the story, Jerry Jones is the worst owner in all of sports and an absolute disaster as a general manager, who could not possibly put together a team capable of making the playoffs, let alone win a Super Bowl. The Cowboys are the worst-run franchise in the NFL, and the laughing stock of the sports world.

While it’s a fun narrative, like most fun narratives, it’s not actually true. Is Jones perfect? Oh God, no. But he also isn’t the incompetent, senile, unqualified buffoon that most make him out to be.

And more importantly, he’s not going anywhere.

Part of being a sports fan is agonizing over things that you can’t control and complaining about things that you can’t change. But at this point, whining about Jones’ position as general manager and calling for a change has far surpassed the classification of “beating a dead horse” and has become almost as natural of a reaction to say when ticking off the Cowboys problems as saying “bless you” when someone sneezes.

At a certain point, doesn’t complaining about the exact same thing, which you have no power to change, and is clearly not going to change, just become a useless waste of energy? Far be it from me to tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t think and can or cannot say, but complaining about Jones is about as likely to produce a change as pointing out that the sky has been blue for long enough, and it’s time to shake things up. There’s a certain level of relief in finally just accepting some realities, as unpleasant as you may think that they are.

Delving deeper into the “failure” that is Jerry Jones, has he really shown an inability to build a team and hire the right people to help him make decisions?

In 2006, the Cowboys were on the verge of a playoff victory in Seattle, generally regarded as the most difficult road venue in the NFL. Only a certain disaster involving a ridiculously slick ball, which remains difficult to talk about to this day, prevented a win and advancement in the playoffs.

Was the 2007 team that went 13-3, tied for the best record in the NFC, a roster that was completely void of talent and unable to win? Or was it a team that ended up losing to a hot New York Giants team and the same defense that almost completely shut down the record-setting offense of the New England Patriots only a few weeks later, to win the Super Bowl?

I suppose the 2009 team that won 11 games and even secured the team’s first playoff victory since 1996 was another roster of waste, put together by an incompetent general manager?

Obviously, the ultimate goal isn’t just to make the playoffs, or even to win a single playoff game. No fan should ever settle for expectations so low. But while most fans point to the success of teams like the Patriots or Pittsburgh Steelers when making the anti-Jerry Jones argument, they also conveniently gloss over the teams that truly ARE being run into the ground and have almost no hope of being successful in their current situations.

I asked a friend of mine, born and bred as a Cleveland sports fan, what it’s like to root for the Browns. He was more than happy to enlighten me:

I’ll make this short(ish) and sweet (hell no). The Browns have had 12 general managers in team history, and seven of them have come since 1999. That’s right, there have been more Browns GMs over the past 15 years than Fast and Furious movies. More Browns GMs than Final Destination movies. The same amount of Browns GMs as Saw movies, which is fitting since rooting for the Browns is basically like one big torture porn contraption. They come, they scout, they stock the roster with the players catered toward the crappy coach’s crappy system, and they’re fired when we still only win four or five games every year.

The most infuriating thing is how NONE of these guys has been able to find a competent starting quarterback. Everyone blabs about how it’s an inexact science. Well, here’s some scientific data for you: We’re 0-for-20 since 1999. ZERO FOR TWENTY! Have you honestly ever tried and failed at the same thing 20 times? Of course ownership doesn’t help. Randy Lerner cared way more about his futbol team than his football team for nine years, then sold it to a shady, shiny southerner whose embroilment in a fraud case that alleges a billion-dollar corporation refused a return on investment to loyal customers, which is about the most perfect metaphor for the Cleveland Browns ever conceived.

Here’s the point: Life is awful, and see you Sunday. Go Browns.

That’s what it’s like to root for a team that is TRULY in the hands of incompetent management and ownership. Dallas isn’t looking so bad now, is it?

This isn’t meant to be a Jerry Jones cheerleading festival and some delusional tirade about how he’s won three championships (a lifetime ago, it seems) and makes every right move. He most certainly does not. Would it be better if he hired a general manager? Maybe. But there’s something to be said about stability. An outside general manager could truly be a disaster.

It’s also a dirty little secret that the Cowboys have hit on some pretty great players in recent drafts. Can you call the general manager that traded to draft wide receiver Dez Bryant (arguably the best player on offense, outside of quarterback Tony Romo), traded to draft Sean Lee (the best player on defense), found a cornerstone left tackle in Tyron Smith (who would be the player that could challenge Bryant for the title of best player on offense), used a first-round pick on center Travis Frederick, who looks like a 12-year starter on the offensive line, and found a big-play threat in wide receiver Terrance Williams someone who has no idea what he’s doing in his job, and will never build a team capable of competing in the NFL?

The Cowboys went 8-8 in 2013. They lost 5 games by a combined 8 points. Injuries forced them to use 41 defenders, the most in the NFL. Yes, you can blame the general manager to a certain point for lacking depth, but when you miss the playoffs by one game, were arguably five plays away from being 13-3, and used more players on defense than any other team in the entire league, you can’t legitimately say that the Cowboys have NO hope to ever win again under Jerry Jones.

Jerry Jones isn’t the best. He also isn’t the worst. And he most certainly isn’t giving up his power any time soon, no matter how much you complain.

But, even if you can’t agree with a single thing written here about Jones, never forget to thank the sports gods every night that you aren’t a Browns fan.



Next Cowboys Game View full schedule »
Sunday, Sep 77 Sep3:25San Francisco 49ersBuy Tickets
Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones

  • lg6170

    Well, at this rate, we’ll be the Browns of the NFC real soon!!!

  • SmartThinking

    Who cares what Browns’ fans think! If they’re stupid enough to continue following a loser year in and year out then they deserve what they get.

    The Dallas Cowboys football franchise has a long and successful history. Other than the first three or four years of his ownership two decades ago, Jones has done nothing significant with this team. In fact, he’s personally done more to destroy it than anyone else in it’s existence.

    Your story’s focus follows the same set of Coulda’s, Shoulda’s and Woulda’s as your Browns’ friend and his excuses. Unlike Cleveland, or Oakland or half a dozen other NFL cities with losing franchises, in Dallas, we’re accustomed to winners and won’t tolerate a losing team or the inept GM that continues year in and year out to let his ego and hubris rule his thought processes. Jones is a mess. His team is a mess. Nothing he does is or has been outstanding.

    Pull your head out of Jones’ backside and look at the destruction this owner/GM has continued to put on this team. Then, look at the original owner, GM and HC. You’ll see quality and intelligent management in every corner. You sure won’t find any of that with this guy.

  • guest

    You have got to be kidding me. Why does this site continue to suck JJ’s schlong balls deep? The Browns should never have been brought up in this article. Do Yankees fans give a shit about Royals fans? No, they’re a losing franchise and are not even a blip on their radar. The messed up thing is the Browns actually have young talent on their roster, the only thing their missing is a QB and they pick 4th. Our QB is about to be 34, has back problems and maybe 2-3 years left in him if we can keep him upright. The Browns are in much better shape than we are moving forward, both with cap space and talent and that is outrageous. You also bring up the 2000 teams who made the playoffs to strengthen your argument yet the bulk of those teams were built in FREE AGENCY. NOT THROUGH THE DRAFT. Why did I even read this bullsh?

  • jrcowboy49

    Monte Kiffen was right when he was asked what kind of defense the Cowboys would have,
    “watch Seattle”! His vision did not materialized as the skill set was not there on defense, wrong type of players needed to run it, limited back up players, and injuries. Any GM worth their salt would have realized the above when attempting to move a 3-4 defense to a 4-3. It took Pete Carroll 4 years. Jerrah has had 23 years, a rather long learning curve. Has he learned anything? The overall 500 record speaks for
    itself. History will not be kind to Jerrah!

  • jrcowboy49

    D. Ware’s extreme high cap number reflects the vast ignorance of a GM (Jerrah) who can’t judge
    talent, overpays aging players, and has no idea about managing the salaries to fit the cap. Restructuring a player’s salary is “kicking the can down the road instead of fixing the problem.” That can has now come home to roost and it is biting Jerrah in the ass. The Cowboys are now in a rebuilding mode!
    Jerrah has destroyed the viability of the team as it cannot be sustained by arrogance, ego, and stupidity!

  • Chesney Blair

    Shut up you numpty! We don’t need you tell us the obvious. We haven’t won anything in two decades. He is not ruining the Cowboys, he is butchering it.

  • Old Frog

    Actually from an historical perspective I see similarities between what Browns and Cowboys fans have endured. People forget that between 1946-1955 the Browns went to 10 league championships and won it 7 times. Remember Otto Graham? I’m sure there were times years later when the Browns fans were screaming wtf! We deserve better than this. We’re the gd Cleveland Browns for crying out loud! The days of dynasties are long gone. Parity is the new world order and every team/owner in the NFL is on board with it. I think it’s nothing short of amazing that New England has been so competitive for the past decade. The Cowboys will have another day in the sun someday but no team is ever going to win 3 Super Bowls in 4 years like they did in the 90′s. The new NFL is structured to prevent that from ever happening again.

  • Old Frog

    Romo is getting $18 million/yr. Smith is probably going to want $12 million/yr. Bryant will want $15 million/yr. That means in the not too distant future 3 players are going to represent over 30% of the cap. Add in Lee and Carr and it’s pretty clear something has got to give. Hatcher, Spencer, and Ware only make the problem worse. Sign Bryant then you can’t afford someone else. Sign someone else then you can’t afford Bryant. Roll everything forward then you’re just postponing the inevitable. There’s simply not enough money to have more than 3 veteran stars on a team. Tough call.

    • Earl Robertson

      Yea salary cap sucks at first I was for it but now after 20 years I would be happy to win a championship even if it was because Jones bought one! Couldn’t be any worse of a feeling niners fans had in 94 when they circumvented the salary cap and pretty much paid for a SB that year

      • Old Frog

        Why not? Steinbrenner did it for years and Yankee fans didn’t object one bit.

  • Earl Robertson

    First, the Cowboys got screwed in that Seahawks game because Witten got a first down and the ref spotted it way short! Second Parcells should have went for it, it was 4th and inches. 3rd, defense allowed Alexander to run 50 yards when a stop they could get the ball back! Now talking about Jones here is the problem I have with him. After Jimmy players dwindled down cowboys went 5 and 11 three straight seasons. And the success you mention in 2006 to 2009 was because of Parcells players. Now that they are about gone what going to happen once Romo is done? If Jones was responsible for turning things around after the 5-11 seasons I would feel better but he wasn’t! They are getting better at drafting and bringing in some guys but what going to happen once that scout we have now goes to another team as a GM?

    • deanhighlife

      Earl Robertson is speaking the gospel truth!!!

  • Michael Scott

    When Clayton Williams ran for governor in 1990, he made an offhand remark so famous it should appear on his tombstone—though, of course, he’d never allow it. It was a rainy day in March, and the press had gathered at his ranch outside Midland to watch some cattle roping. When one of his hands mentioned to him that the reporters were getting restless, good ol’ boy Williams tried to make light of the situation by comparing bad weather to rape: “If it’s inevitable,” he said, “just relax and enjoy it”.
    -Somehow this story seemed to make sense after reading this article. I’m certain that as Al Davis got fewer and fewer french fries short of a Happy Meal some idiot sports reporter wrote a story like this one too. “He’s here, might as well relax and enjoy it.”

  • The Hague Sports

    Why would you compare the Dallas Cowboys with the Cleveland Browns? The Cowboys, who have had the nickname of “America’s Team” for decades have always had way higher expectations. If you’re going to compare them with other teams, compare them to the Steelers or Patriots, and you’ll see, the Cowboys are much further behind when it comes to the front office, and Jerry is the reason for that.