The Dallas Cowboys: America's Scheme

Richard CaldwellContributor IDecember 29, 2010

HOUSTON - AUGUST 28:  Owner Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys stands on the field before the Cowboys play the Houston Texans in a preseason game at Reliant Stadium on August 28, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Here he is again.  

The 2010 NFL season draws to a close and Jerry Jones is searching for a head coach.

The proud franchise, that could once boast of a single head coach in 29 years, now searches for its seventh head coach in the last 21 years.  

The ring master, the carnival barker since 1989 has been the one and only Jerry Jones.  

How does one describe the man?  

Friendly, enjoyable to listen to in a relaxed setting, successful in business.  He is forward thinking and a master at generating interest in his franchise.  He is extremely successful at making money.  All of these things are without dispute.  He is bold and makes decisions that benefit the fan base and will leave his imprint on the NFL consciousness for the foreseeable future.

Can you say Cowboys Stadium?

But for all the good that Jerry Jones is as a business man and team promoter, he is equally as bad as a man who holds the position (General Manager) that is supposed to produce success on the football field.  

If you believe that Jimmy Johnson was the man most in control of football operations in the early nineties (and I do), and if you believe that Bill Parcells represented Jones taking a step back in football matters (and I do), then you are left with the rest of Jones' tenure as owner to examine his football acumen.  

What you are left with is dismal failure.  There seems to be a discernible pattern.  Strong football man (Johnson), followed by Jerry yes man (Switzer, Gailey, Campo), and the team devolves.  Jones is so embarrassed that he turns to another strong football man (Parcells) and the team roster is strengthened again.

Then follows the Wade Phillips era and the team loses any progress made.

What this means is that what once made the Dallas Cowboys America's Team has lost the most vital ingredient in today's version.  


The Cowboys under Tex Schramm were glitz and glamor, but they were also known for class and success on the field.  Tom Landry, Roger Staubach, Bob Lilly and a whole host of great players produced a record 20 consecutive winning seasons.  

Now the Cowboys are known more for their stadium, cheerleaders and the many promotional schemes of their owner than they are winning football games.  

Jerry Jones clearly desires to be the face of the franchise.  There is no general manager in the league who is more in the news than the Cowboys owner.  But there is no general manager whose team has won one playoff game since 1996 that would still be employed without owning the team.

Jerry Jones is still selling.  The question is how long America will continue to buy?  The Cowboys are as popular as ever, but when looking at the football field, and the winning and losing, it is looking more like America's Scheme than America's Team.