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On the Lack of Fear in the Dallas Cowboys' Front Office

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 21:  Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys during their game at Bank of America Stadium on October 21, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistNovember 7, 2012

Dallas Cowboys owner/president/general manager/king of football operations, Jerry Jones, insists that he'll never cede control of personnel to someone not named Jerry Jones. 

And with that in mind, Jimmy Johnson has a theory. Here's what Johnson told The Dan Patrick Show today, via ProFootballTalk.com:

"Really, the No. 1 motivator is fear, you know, fear of maybe letting down your teammates, of being chastised or maybe losing your job. Where's the fear in Dallas? There's no fear in Dallas. It's a country club where everybody's buddies."

Now, Johnson also claimed that Jones didn't officially become the team's general manager and president until after Johnson left in 1993. That has been disproven by ESPNDallas.com's Todd Archer, who dug up media guides from the Johnson era and found that Jones was the GM then, too, but it's widely believed that a power struggle ended the Johnson era in Dallas.

And so Johnson's original point retains merit. And I tend to agree with the notion that Jones and his son Stephen are doing more harm than good by running the team without the pressure that their competitors feel in the 31 NFL front offices elsewhere in America. 

Jones' reputation is on the line, and he clearly wants to win badly. But it's not the same. His livelihood isn't at stake.

And let's also consider that, generally, those in charge of personnel don't have to concern themselves with ticket sales and marketing. But Jones appears to be just as obsessed with the concept of "selling" this team as a brand as he is with building it as a winner. 

Those two objectives are obviously connected, but I'd rather have my personnel czar focus on the 53-man roster while the business people deal with horizontal integration and merchandising.

It could be a lot worse, Cowboys fans. You could have a laissez-faire-style owner who values the bottom line over on-field success. But if not for Jones and his micro-managing ego, it could also be a lot better.

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