The Dallas Cowboys are the best-built team in the NFL and they’re made to look average because of stubbornness.
If ‘America’s Team’ are to win a Super Bowl, they’re going to need their owner to take responsibility for their shortcomings.
What is very difficult to do in the NFL is to get a franchise player at every position within the salary cap. The easy part is making the right coaching change to enable that team to succeed.
The association the Cowboys have with tradition is now the one thing that hampers them. Jason Garrett has tried and failed far too many times at this rate; their lack of analytics because of the conservation of ‘traditional’ football methods; their counter-aggressive play-calling and a dependence on talent shining through with little help are outdated.
The buck stops with the one man who has the power to change all of this – Jerry Jones.
There are many misconceptions about the Cowboys owner. Two such misconceptions are that he’s a hardline disciplinarian and the other is that he has more football IQ than other owners in the league.
Keeping Jason Garrett is one thing but commenting on the performances and saying there’s no real excuses for the shortcomings before pledging your support to the man responsible soon after is a surefire sign that good ‘ol Jerry is losing his mind.
Jerry Jones. Kinda pissed at the outcome. pic.twitter.com/YQ2is9slMG
— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) November 25, 2019
In a postgame press conference, Garrett dismissed the idea of analytics, probability and statistics – citing that they don’t need them to win football games. Well, the truth remains that teams with far less talent are producing because of real-time analytics scientists feeding them probabilities of succeeding in certain situations.
Despite the pressure of the most-supported team in America not winning a Super Bowl in over 20 years, Jones is sticking to his guns – and a quick overview of his personality suggests that he’s being a control freak, sacrificing the future of the franchise to maintain his ‘yes man’.
Let’s look through their key positions: Dak Prescott – Pro Bowl talent; Zeke Elliott – Pro Bowl talent; Amari Cooper – Pro Bowl talent; the best offensive line in the NFL; a sack machine in Demarcus Lawrence; a stacked linebacking corps with Leighton Vander Esch at the heart of it; a shutdown corner in Byron Jones and a kicker who ranks among the best in the league.
Where are the tangible excuses? Nowhere, because the roster is complete – just that the mentality is severely lacking.
Until the Cowboys stop resting on their laurels, until Jerry Jones stops playing conservative, until the franchise stops relying on their reputation – they’re doomed to fail.
Perhaps the biggest indication of the intangibles holding them back is the lack of common sense among the decision-makers. The following is the gist of Garrett’s press conference answer when questioned by a reporter as to why he didn’t go for it on fourth-and-seven, down by a touchdown, with little time remaining.
According to B/R’s @MikeFreemanNFL, the Cowboys “would have to win a Super Bowl” for Jason Garrett to keep his job.
Jerry Jones’ top two candidates to replace him: Urban Meyer and Josh McDaniels ? pic.twitter.com/r6EaXSssgG
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) November 27, 2019
He said that the fourth-and-seven just wasn’t as manageable as maybe fourth-and-one, two or even three. Apart from this being painstakingly obvious, he stuck by his decision to kick a field goal. But the bigger issue here is that he said he would have gone for it on fourth down, if a shorter distance to-go was in play.
So what did he do to contribute to this situation becoming a reality? He took two shots at the end zone on second and third down. Garrett is actively hurting this team’s chances, and as much as you have to think he’s out-of-touch with modern ways, the coaching staff is usually a reflection of an owner, given it’s his decision to hire and fire.
This example is telling – and Jerry Jones needs to buck his own trends if a Super Bowl will return to Dallas in the next 20 years.