Go ahead Cowboys fans, reread the title. I know many of you out there are thinking this guy is crazy, how can the fault not lie with Cowboys' Owner and GM, Jerry Jones?
Actually if anything, we should be praising Jerry for the amount of success the Cowboys have attained since 2003.
Ok, lets go back to after the 2002 season, Dallas' third straight 5-11 season. We have an aging, but still exemplary, running back in place, a coach who obviously did not know how to be a head coach, and it didn't look like things were going anywhere fast.
Fast-foward a couple months. Emmitt Smith has been released, and then Jerry does what many thought was impossible for him to do, he put aside his ego for the betterment of the team.
He brought in hard-nosed, no non-sense coach Bill Parcells. His first year on the job Bill Parcells took the team back to the playoffs posting a 10-6 record, by turning Quincy Carter (remember him?) into a solid starting QB. Also in 2003 Bill and Jerry drafted three key players, Terence Newman, Jason Witten, and Bradie James, and they signed a little-known, undrafted free agent named Tony Romo.
2004 was Jerry's and Bill's mulligan year. Honestly, how much can you expect when you have Vinny "Throw another Pick" Testaverde as your QB? But on the silver lining Bill and Jerry drafted a solid third man receiver in Patrick Caryton.
Drew Bledsoe led the attack for the Cowboys in 2005 and results improved. The Cowboys posted a 9-7 record, but missed the playoffs. The Cowboys drafted DeMarcus Ware, Marcus Spears, Marion Barber, and Jay Ratliff that year. But while all this was happening a certain receiver was causing a coo in the Philadelphia Eagles nest.
You can say whatever you want to about Terrell Owens. You can call him selfish, a crybaby, or a disruption, but whatever you call him you know when he steps foot on the field for game day he is going to give it his all to make sure he can get every last inch possible when he has the ball.
And who is the only owner crazy, or genius, enough to sign T.O. and the circus that comes along with, Mr. Jerry Jones.
2006 was a year in transition for the Cowboys. Drew Bledsoe was benched at halftime during the Giants game during Week Five. And so the Tony Romo era began. Romo led the Cowboys to a 6-4 record, after a 3-3 start under Bledsoe, but most importantly back to the playoffs, only to end the season with that debacle in Seattle.
After the 2006 season Bill left, and Wade Phillips was in. Patrick Watkins, the special teams ace, was drafted.
2007 and 2008 were both years of disappointment for Cowboys fans as we were led to believe that our team was once again the best in the NFL only to watch it all go down the drain in December or early January. But both years it was not Jerry's fault he did whatever he thought it would take to once again make the Cowboys the Super Bowl champs.
He drafted Anthony Spencer and Nick Folk in 2007. In 2008, Jerry was hitting on all cylinders when he drafted Felix Jones, Mike Jenkins, Tashard Choice, Orlando Scandrick, and Martellus Bennett, who all earned considerable playing time because of injuries to other players
Which brings me to another point. Is it Jerry fault that the Cowboys were plagued by injuries throughout the season? Of course not!
Ok, I will say that I never liked Pacman as a Cowboy. While T.O. carried the "ME" factor baggage when Jerry signed him, Pacman carried actual baggage that was not only harmful to himself but the people around him.
I only hope that Pacman can one day change his ways and realize that playing in the NFL is a real privilege not something that just comes and goes, like it has for him, before it is too late. But getting back on topic, Jerry signed him because he thought that Pacman would be able to be a special teams ace and defensive ace.
My last argument on why the Cowboys collapse isn't Jerry's fault is that Jerry put all the pieces in places for the Cowboys to not only win a Super Bowl, but multiple Super Bowls. Is it Jerry's fault that the defense gives up two straight runs of 70+ yards against the Ravens?
Is it Jerry's fault that Romo and all his receivers, (Witten included) didn't seem to be on the same page in December? Is it Jerry's fault the the players didn't execute plays properly? Or is it Jerry's fault that some coaches game-plans were horrendous? No, no, no, and no.
If Jerry is at fault for anything, it is the desire to make the Cowboys World Champions again. And I think that's a fault most Cowboys fans should be glad to live with.