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Auping: Criticisms Of Jones Have Not Always Been Consistent

Posted Nov 30, 2012

IRVING, Texas - I’ve got news for more than a handful of Cowboy fans: Barrack Obama has more important things on his plate than the ownership of the Dallas Cowboys. 

Recently a petition was launched by angry fans of America’s Team that asked for the President of the United States to assist in the removal of Jerry Jones as the owner of the Dallas Cowboy. Since winning three Super Bowls in the nineties, the Cowboys have won only one playoff game. Somewhere Kansas City Chief fans are playing the world’s smallest violin. 

Regardless of how ridiculous a government petition is, Cowboy fans do have every right to be upset with the performance of their team. And they have every right to take it out on the owner. It comes with the territory and Jones understands that. 

However, criticism should be consistent in order for it to be taken seriously. The running label for the Cowboys for the past five or six years has been that they have been a team loaded with talent that simply could not get the job done. Both local and national media cite all the talent on the team, but discount them as a team where something will inevitably go wrong. 

But the key word here is “talent.” If fans are going to buy into this “wasted talent” argument and roll their eyes whenever the words “Cowboys” and “playoffs” are used in a sentence, then they are admitting that the Cowboys are a team full of talented players. Many of those same critic’s biggest complaint about Jones is that he should step down as the general manager of the team. 

Whether or not the “talented team” argument is overstated is a whole new argument. But the job of the general manager is to assess and bring in talented players. Tell any organization in the NFL that their team is “loaded with talent” and they’ll say that their GM is doing a good job. 

There’s also the argument that Jones always goes for the “big splash” in free agency instead of developing players. There’s some validity to this argument, but it doesn’t mean we should overlook where exactly Tony Romo (undrafted free agent), Miles Austin (undrafted free agent), DeMarco Murray (third round draft pick) and Sean Lee (late second round pick) all came from. Acquiring these players was not exactly front-page news at the time. 

Then some might concede Jones brings in talented players, but that coaching is the problem, which of course, is Jones’ fault considering he hires the coaches. Many argue that Jones hired a a young coach like Garrett because he likes to maintain some sort of control over his head coach.

This argument would completely contradict the fact that Jones willingly hired Bill Parcells, one of the least likely coaches to ever be controlled by his owner. And Parcells remained head coach of the team for four years. 

 Parcells’ fingerprints were all over those Cowboy teams. Drew Bledsoe, Vinny Testaverde, Aaron Glenn, Keyshawn Johnson, and Richie Anderson all played for Parcells prior to joining the Cowboys. 

Jones has also allowed Garrett to do things his way as well. Garrett’s brother John is the tight ends coach and his other brother, Judd, is the director of pro scouting. And we all know how much influence Jimmy Johnson had as a head coach for the Cowboys. Control might not be as big of an issue with Jerry Jones as the common fan may think. 

I don’t mean to blindly defend Jerry Jones and the Cowboys’ organization. Obviously there are issues and the team has not had the level of success that the fan base has come to expect. 

But the criticism must be consistent. If the Cowboys are a talented team that is underperforming then it doesn’t sound like the fault of the general manager. 

Has Jones been flawless in his decision-making? Hardly, but blaming the owner is always the most simple way to criticize an organization, especially when that owner is so often in the spotlight. But sometimes things are more complicated than that. 

The fact of the matter is that there are currently 14 teams in the NFL with a worse record than the Cowboys. I don’t quite think that is significant enough for the leader of our country to take action.

 

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