2012 Dallas Cowboys: This Can't Be What Jerry Jones Envisioned, Right?
For any non-Cowboys fan wondering what it feels like to be a Cowboys fan after a gut-punching loss, let me take you on an enchanted journey that will give you an up-close and personal feel after a disappointing loss and, more importantly, a mediocre last 16 years.
Sit back, relax and don't operate any heavy machinery for the rest of the season when you watch this team play. Now, take a seat at a wooden desk and sit real close to one of the legs of that piece of furniture. Next, take an ice pick and ram it through your calf all the way through the muscle until it's embedded into the wooden leg of the desk.
Sit tight for a few minutes and let the pain sink in and imagine doing that five to six times per football season. Yeah, I bet that hurts, but I wonder if Jerry Jones feels the same pain that the fans experience during a Cowboys turnover-blowout sales event.
How can this not be getting old for Jerry Jones?
This can't be what Jones envisioned for this 2012 Cowboys squad, right? A 3-4 record through seven games? An inconsistent offense? A ton of mental mistakes? Turnovers at an alarming rate? A regressing Tony Romo? And a continued home-field disadvantage?
I mean the New York Giants were 7-7 last year before going on their second magic carpet ride in four years and maybe, just maybe, Jerry Jones feels the same good fortune is in store for this team, right? Weren't people supposed to come on out to Jerry world and watch some butt-kicking against the Giants?
Jerry just can't get out of his own way.
The Cowboys ability to persevere, battle back and even take the lead after a horrific start to the Giants game was no doubt impressive, but it doesn’t mean much without the desired results. For the Cowboys, finding ways to win these types of games is the difference between making the playoffs and making early vacation plans.
The bottom line is that—despite the resiliency the Cowboys show in games such as those against the Ravens or Giants—this team is 3-4 and has an enormous weight of urgency on its back as it moves forward. And after a season that started out with such promise and hope, it now feels like a season teetering on disaster.
At the epicenter of all of this is none other than Jerry Jones. This is the man that fired Tom Landry, achieved greatness with Jimmy Johnson and has now become the face of mediocrity. His balance sheet continues to look nice, sales and marketing are doing well and the value of the franchise continues to swell (and so does his wallet), but I wonder what keeps Jerry up at night.
Is he worrying about his radio show? When his next chance to host a Super Bowl will be? The Kenny Chesney Thanksgiving entertainment or the NFL trade deadline? All of us wonder about it and many, if not all, are tired of average results and overhyped expectations from this team.
What he should be thinking about is how this team is only one win better right now than the Cleveland Browns.
Knowing Jerry Jones, he's probably still trying to rationalize how this team is a contender right now for a championship because he still clings to the getting-hot-at-the-right-time concept of today's NFL. I have a different view of this team, and it centers around dysfunction and a flawed business model. I see the only team in the NFL to operate with an owner acting as the GM.
Jerry Jones expects to see better results from the same behavior but something continues to get in the way of this team achieving success. He took solace last year in still having a chance to make the playoffs up until the last game, and he found a silver lining in the loss to Baltimore this year that led him to believe the Cowboys are contenders.
It's that mentality that probably has this team right in the middle of the pack every season.
But a team with such lofty expectations, a talent upgrade in the secondary and an owner who wants to win badly is sitting right now with a 3-4 record coming off a stinging loss with two tough road games ahead. What lies ahead in the coming weeks is anyone's guess. It just depends on which Cowboys team shows up.
When Jones was doling out a $50 million contract to Brandon Carr and drafting Morris Claiborne, everything in Cowboy nation was in balance. You actually have to applaud Jerry for making those bold and expensive moves, but nobody every questioned his ability to do just that. All you have to do is look at the lack of an impact of this year's draft class after Claiborne, along with the lack of depth on this roster to see his real shortcomings as a GM.
Tyrone Crawford is a special teams contributor, Kyle Wilber is inactive, Matt Johnson is hurt, Danny Coale is on the practice squad, James Hanna never sees the field and Caleb McSurdy is on injured reserve. If you need any more evidence as to what has stunted the growth of this team, just look back to the 2009 draft and ask the GM what happened.
I don't think that's what Jerry envisioned either. Neither did the fans.
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