Discussing the ineptitude of a once great Cowboys franchise

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 13: Owner Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys looks on during pregame for a preseason game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field At Mile High on August 13, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - AUGUST 13: Owner Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys looks on during pregame for a preseason game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field At Mile High on August 13, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /

Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” I guess as Dallas Cowboys fans, we are all pretty insane for believing in this team year after year.

We buy into this cyclical madness once a year where we are led to believe in this overly hyped team by the front office brass, and inevitably, we are led to the same place, where money is placed over winning, just as it has been the entire time with this ownership.

Money over winning seems to be the mantra of this once great franchise.

As long as they’re mentioned on every sports media outlet and valued highly in monetary terms (once again the highest valued sports team in the world, per Forbes), Jerry Jones is a happy man. It doesn’t matter what happens in the games around here, because nothing will ever change, especially not when the focus is on flashiness instead of substance.

Then, with the Cowboys being America’s Team, we will keep buying this faulty product, even when they continually air-mail their tendencies, as they did again this past offseason.

After this front office traded away WR1 Amari Cooper for practically nothing and let go of Randy Gregory, La’el Collins, Connor Williams, and Cedrick Wilson, they turned around and told the fans that everything would be fine.

“I think we can very easily be where we were last year talent-wise,” Jerry Jones told Jon Machota of The Athletic. 

The Cowboys GM continues selling the lie that they were not only prepared for this season but that they also had a roster that was built to contend. As we saw from watching that horrendous experience on Sunday night, this is not a well-built team. Even before the injury to Dak Prescott, which will likely have him out for six to eight weeks, it was easy to see this team was heading nowhere fast.

We saw errant pass attempts from a constantly under-duress Prescott to receivers who shouldn’t even be on an active roster, all while Kellen Moore was failing to scheme up anything productive. This team was doomed from the start.

However, maybe there is some solace in knowing what we know now rather than pinning our hopes on this team magically fixing themselves as the season goes on. This roster (without Prescott) could possibly go winless until he comes back. While many Cowboys fans will say Prescott is to be blamed for such a horrible offensive showing, the Cowboys QB is not the one we should be pointing to for the failures of this team.

It’s all cyclical, you see. This front office seeks out excuses for everything, and they have since the Romo years ended. They blame salary cap space or how competitive the NFL is or complain about players “taking too much of the pie.” Then, they depend on the quarterback for everything with hopes that he can bail them out of despair and follow that up by pointing the finger at him when it doesn’t go well. Since they pay him so much of the “pie,” they can always use him as the scapegoat, while they ignore the fact that they often overpay on less valuable positions (hint: Ezekiel Elliott’s contract).

The Dallas Cowboys front office continues to not do enough for this roster and then expects greatness

However, we don’t see other teams complaining about the “pie”, do we? Do the Los Angeles Rams or Buffalo Bills complain about cap space while signing and trading for every big name out there? No, because they have the understanding that you must spend to win in this league. Besides, the salary cap is growing and can be manipulated almost at will.

You can’t simply blame the quarterback that you chose to pay, especially when his contract is now down to the eighth-highest average in the league, tied with last year’s Super Bowl champion Matthew Stafford. Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray, Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Derek Carr all have a higher average contract per year than Prescott.

However, almost all these quarterbacks have solid rosters that surround them, or at the minimum, have a team whose owner is willing to spend money or make moves to make the roster better. Or, when these quarterbacks don’t have an elite roster, they oftentimes have coaches that put them in better schemes and get the most out of the talent available. The Cowboys don’t do that. They expect their QB to do more with less, rather than making things easier for him.

Very rarely can a quarterback perform well without weapons to throw the ball to. Look at Aaron Rodgers’ performance without Davante Adams this past Sunday. Prescott didn’t have quality receiving options nor an offensive line, which resulted in him being relentlessly pressured, and ultimately hurt.

The Cowboys’ lack of roster building led us here.

Yet the Joneses expect us to accept their excuses and enjoy the horrible product they put on the field, while they escape all the blame that inevitably falls onto their quarterback.

It’s unfair that this front office isn’t held accountable.

It is understandable to see a great reign fall. It happened with the Yankees in baseball on a smaller scale. It is happening with the Patriots. It happened with Rome. Now, Jerry Jones is Caesar. After rescuing this team from financial despair and growing the franchise into a financial powerhouse, he has since turned the republic into an empire.

After riding on the coattails of Jimmy Johnson in the early 1990s, Jones’s thirst for power with this franchise only grew. Grabbing power not only through the franchise itself but also through dealings with the league. This is Jones’s team, and what he and the Jones family say goes. This is why the Cowboys don’t have a general manager, and this is why every coach, outside of Parcells, during Jones’s reign has been a yes-man who is afraid to go against the grain.

Now, we are entering the Cowboys’ 27th year without a Super Bowl, or even an NFC Championship appearance. It is 27 years too long.

This team was lost when the Star on the helmet became a status symbol, rather than an icon that meant winning. The only answer is to completely recreate the culture into one where winning is the primary focus instead of monetary value.

It’s time for change, and it begins with the Joneses humbling themselves and stepping aside to let actual football people take over. Hire a general manager and a head coach who is innovative and not afraid to take chances. Spend some money, actually fix the issues surrounding this team, and stop pointing fingers at the roster you constructed, especially when they’re not the ones who mismanage the cap space.

The Cowboys have gone back to the same tired philosophy that has plagued them year after year, resulting in a fan base that is angry and annoyed with the ineptitude of this front office. No more excuses. It is time to fix this franchise, and the hope is that the Joneses can stop being selfish and realize it.