They were a team that was picked to be Super Bowl bound. Instead the Dallas Cowboys are now playing for a top ten spot in the NFL draft.
The season has been a circle of embarrassment for this proud franchise, and it hasn’t slowed down. It started with a 1-7 start and public drilling on national TV by the Green Bay Packers that lead to changes at the helm. Owner/General Manager Jerry Jones pulled the trigger and fired head coach Wade Phillips afterwards, and named offensive coordinator Jason Garrett the interim head coach. The team started to play inspired football, which led to the debate on whether to remove the interim tag from Garrett. Now is where the fun begins.
Jones has sidestepped the daily question, and with good reason. Per NFL rules, Jerry still has to “conduct” a search during the offseason, interviewing potential candidates. But there is confusion on the way Jerry is handling everything. During a recent interview, Jerry stated that no NFL head coach has ever won the Super Bowl with 2 different teams, and also said he has a list of candidates. At the same time, he hasn’t dismissed the notion of keeping Garrett. Jerry goes back and forth on the pros and cons of giving Garrett the keys to the car, keeping everyone guessing. That might very well be his plan.
The thing about Jerry Jones is he likes to make a splash. At one time he talked about how it’s never a bad thing if the Cowboys are in the headlines. But I have to think the one person who wants this disaster of a season over as quickly as possible is Jerry. Once that is done, he can begin making his move to avoid being asked the same questions every day. Jerry says there is no timetable to fill the head coach position. But he wants this problem of a team fixed now in order to move forward, and what Jerry wants, Jerry gets.
There are plenty of obstacles to overcome in the search. One of the knocks is dealing with Jerry himself. Some high profile coaches don’t want the owner meddling in everyday operations that can take away from the team focus. These types of issues can be attributed somewhat to the exiting of Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells. The feeling is the head coach will take care of things on the field and on his terms. “Jerry the Owner” is great for the Cowboys and the NFL, “Jerry the G-M” has a tendency to draw some heat.
Finding a head coach isn’t the only problem the Blue Star needs to address. The defense has been an ultimate fail most of the season, giving up big plays on a constant basis. There are also issues with the offense, and who should get the majority of carries in the backfield. Tony Romo went down midway through the season with a shoulder injury, but should be ready to go by training camp. There are a number of personality and contract issues that could cause some players to be shown the door.
Jerry hates losing, and the fact this year’s Super Bowl is being played in his new palace only signifies that the unacceptable play and issues surrounding this team all season long will soon be dealt with.
Written by C. James