Troubling Stephen Jones trade story shows why Cowboys continue to be lost

Dec 24, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones before the game between the
Dec 24, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones before the game between the / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

There's a reason Dallas Cowboys are convinced the team won't win a Super Bowl until there's a change in ownership. It wouldn't be as hopeless if Jerry Jones would take a step back and hire an actual general manager, or promote VP of player personnel Will McClay. Then we might be getting somewhere.

Instead, Jones and his son, Stephen Jones, have significant say in the Cowboys' personnel decisions.

Under the Joneses, Dallas has been a draft and develop team. They seldom splurge in free agency and make notable trades, which would explain the excitement after they traded for Stephon Gilmore and Brandin Cooks last offseason. Ultimately, those moves weren't enough to get the team over the hump.

Jerry Jones proclaimed that the Cowboys will change their approach this offseason. Until that happens and the team makes a deep playoff run, though, fans have little reason to believe the Jones family will do everything in their power to bring a Lombardi Trophy to Dallas.

Unfortunately, whatever hope fans still have might be crushed after they listen to this troubling Stephen Jones draft story that was revealed on The Athletic's "About Them Cowboys" podcast.

Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones rebuffed trade for Lions star despite not knowing who the player was.

Nothing to hear here, folks. Just the Cowboys' executive vice president responding "Who is that" to a seemingly very notable Lions player. Though alarming, that's not the biggest issue. As EVP, Jones should know who the player is, but that's why Dallas has an expansive scout team and personnel department.

The bigger red flag is what happened afterwards. There's nothing wrong with Jones telling the Lions "we'll call you back." That would imply he'd do all the necessary background work upon hanging up: Consoling the front office and personnel/scout teams about the player and whether a trade would be in the team's best interest. Possible trade packages could even enter the equation if Dallas liked the player.

Instead, Jones went back to watching the draft, per the podcast. He didn't tell a soul that Detroit called, let alone that they offered a star player. At least give Will McClay a ring to find out some information on the player in question, right? Nope. Even worse is that Stephen said the Cowboys weren't interested in the player when the Lions called back.

It's an unfathomable display of dysfunction from the individual who essentially pulls most of the strings in the Cowboys front office. If you want any explanation as to why Dallas cant seem to get out of its own way on and off the field, go ahead and fire up this clip.

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