The Dallas Cowboys are led by probably the most eccentric owner in all of professional sports. Some may call it bravado, some may call it delusional, but in the world of Jerry Jones, he makes it very clear that the Cowboys are ready to compete for a Super Bowl this year.
Ah, Jerry, the eternal optimist, or should I say the second coming of Al Davis?
For whatever it's worth, you can't deny Jerry's prowess as an astute businessman, or his ability to orchestrate a big deal, but his current bout with hysteria comes at an inopportune time. And it's not a realistic view considering this team has serious identity issues, clock management issues and a chronic penalty problem.
The Cowboys are currently sitting in the cellar of the NFC East with a 2-3 record and are owners of a two-game skid. Even if Dan Bailey connected on that 51-yard field goal, a 3-2 record still leaves them in the middle of the pack. But Jones continues to cling onto the notion that some teams, particularly the New York Giants, back-door their way into the playoffs and win Super Bowls.
Yes, that seems to be the new company line today, folks. Side step the problem, apply the same business model, hire a coach that will be undermined by the owner and then compare yourself to other teams without looking in the mirror first. And, oh yeah, one person wears 15 hats because nobody can do it better. What have you done in the fifth round of the draft in the last seven years, Jerry?
I'm a huge believer that there should be one singular belief in the Cowboys' locker room and that the players should buy into the "we're all in" concept, but the reality is that sometimes that's not enough. The Cowboys are supported by a frustrated fanbase, but I'm not so sure Jerry realizes that because marketing overrides all.
If he really believed in reality and not hype or marketing tactics, the facts would've already given him a technical knockout. This franchise is 122-123 with one playoff win since 1997. But Jerry will never fire himself? He loves this franchise so much and winning even more? I find this astoundingly hard to believe considering how hard he worked to achieve all that he possesses.
This can't possibly be the business model of a billionaire. So I suppose Bill Gates or Donald Trump or the Steinbrenners are satisfied with bleeding cash and profits every year?
The Cowboys are potentially facing a three-game losing streak should they fall to the Carolina Panthers. To make matters worse, the next three games included a rematch with the NFC East-leading Giants and road games against Atlanta and Philadelphia. The Cowboys are facing the toughest stretch of their schedule and the next few weeks will have major, if not season-defining implications.
The reality of the Cowboys' season and the entire focus right now should only be playing the Panthers in Week 7. It's a pivotal game and they have to do whatever they have to do to win. If the Cowboys were to lose this game, it would be even harder watching other teams building momentum and separating themselves from the Cowboys.
For the Cowboys, this is the reality of their season and not the false hope that Jerry Jones is trying to create. False hope and trying to create a hype machine are two dangerous selling points to a fanbase that is ready to revolt if the Cowboys fail to make the playoffs again. This time around, the backlash might be too powerful even for the great Jerry Jones.
Jerry Jones will continue to be the eternal optimist and the overconfident man he usually is. It's his team, his money and his family business. But the bottom line is that at this point of the season, the Cowboys are in must-win mode against an underachieving 1-4 Carolina team.
If the Cowboys win, Jerry can continue to believe in his quagmire of hype. The reality is that a 3-3 record still does nothing and is an exact truth of what this team really is. The Cowboys still need nine to 10 wins at a minimum to make the playoffs, and I don't know if they have the depth or the ability to do so from what we've seen.
So in a one-game, week-to-week season, it still comes down to beating the Panthers this weekend. If the Cowboys continue to make dumb mistakes and hand the game away, the conversations among Cowboys nation will start to get downright ugly. The Cowboys would inch closer and closer to being left out of the playoffs for a head-scratching fourth time in five years.
Jerry Jones has to realize that is not hype, it's reality.
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