Yeah, what would you do if you owned the Dallas Cowboys? Let’s start with the General Manager position. Many of you voice the opinion that Jerry Jones should fire himself as the GM and bring in a professional. So, who would you hire? Would it be someone that is already a successful GM with another team? If so, why would he come to work for you in the same capacity?
December 30, 2012; Landover, MD, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones claps while standing on the field prior to the Cowboys game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
I guess you could throw a lot more money at him than he is currently making, but would that guarantee success? Or would you go the route of hiring an Assistant GM from a successful team? Being around success does not insure you will be successful. And if, as Jerry is accused of, you are not capable of being a good GM yourself, how do you know one when you interview candidates for the position? There are certainly many owners that have made mistakes with filling that position.
OK, now what about the Head Coach? Any new GM would want to bring in his own guy, as we have seen with recent GM changes that preceded coaching changes. Most people don’t check their egos at the door, so any new GM would want to get complete credit for any turnaround by being credited for hiring the successful Head Coach. But even if you chose to retain the title of GM, as Jerry continues to, would you go ahead and fire Jason Garrett, as many of you have called for?
How long is long enough to see if your Head Coach has the team heading in the right direction? Garrett has been the Head Coach for two and one half seasons, counting his time as Interim Head Coach, and the record has not been great, but it’s better than some teams have fared over the same period of time. And don’t forget, sometimes with a change at Head Coach, the team regresses, as was the case when Jerry fired Chan Gailey and replaced him with Dave Campo. Jerry only gave Chan two years and he has regretted it since.
In addition, coaching changes usually include a change in philosophy. This change in philosophy precedes a necessary learning curve. Are you really willing to see your team take the needed time to learn and implement a new system while some of your best players, such as Jason Witten, Tony Romo and DeMarcus Ware are getting older and beginning to see their best days as a player in the rearview mirror?
How much should you, as the GM, or your hired gun GM, interject himself into how the Head Coach runs the team? Is it OK for the GM to expect his Head Coach to call the plays on the side of the ball where his expertise lies? And, if so, is it OK for you to change your mind when you see that your Head Coach appears to be overloaded and/or perhaps you would like to see a little more freshness injected into the play calling?
It’s my opinion, as I have stated before, that these kinds of interjections from the GM are no different than the review you have with your manager. During such reviews part of the discussion is “what can we do to help you do your job more efficiently?” Likewise, coordinator and position coach changes are part of that discussion. After all, the GM is the one that has to approve what you are going to pay the new guy, as well as any costs related to making the old guy to go away.
Dec 23, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett on the field before the game against the New Orleans Saints at Cowboys Stadium. The Saints beat the Cowboys 34-31 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
What about scouting and drafting? Jerry has been faulted for bad drafts over the years, but that appears to be turning around. It’s my opinion that Stephen Jones has something to do with that, since he is in charge of player personnel. But either way, there are some very good players on this team that were drafted the last few years. And the Cowboys ability to find and sign good players that were not drafted is second to none.
Also, don’t forget that when Bill Parcells was the Head Coach, he wanted a say in the drafting process. He wanted to draft Marcus Spears at somewhere around the 10th player selected, he was over-ruled by Jerry and DeMarcus Ware was selected instead. The Cowboys had a second first round pick, at somewhere around twenty, and Marcus Spears was selected then. Who do you think was correct Parcells, or Jones?
The bottom line is this, if you owned the team I don’t believe you would behave much differently than Jerry does. After all, the things you complain about when it comes to Garrett’s management of the team, you would now be in position to do something about. Would you sit there and say nothing, or march down to his office and tell him what you think? Don’t be shy now, you aren’t when you voice your opinions here. Likewise, would you sit back and let the GM make questionable changes? I doubt it.
There have been quite a few changes this offseason that I think are for the better, but we won’t know for sure until the 2013 season is underway, not the pre-season, but the regular season. So let’s chill a bit and not get so twisted in a wad over the opinions of sports columnists and radio personalities that often conflict with each other, while we wait to see how this plays out.