The ‘most talented’ team in football once again finds itself home for the playoffs — exactly where it belongs.
By Aaron S. Lee
Since winning — or even appearing — in the team’s last Super Bowl in January 1996, owner and general manager Jerry Jones has made it nearly impossible to continue to cheer for the Dallas Cowboys.
This writer — and fan — included.
After all, it’s been nearly a quarter-century since anyone remotely associated with the Cowboys has had something to cheer for. In fact, the Cowboys of McNeese State University from Lake Charles in South Louisiana have done more to thump its chest with pride during that span with seven Southland Conference championships and two I-AA title games (1997, 2002) — even if it were losing efforts on both occasions.
But Dallas may not even be the second-best Cowboys in the nation. Or even third.
After all, Oklahoma State to the north of Dallas went 12-1 for an “unclaimed” 2011 national title awarded by NCAA computer-generated sports rating system Colley Matrix.
And even Wyoming has played in six bowl games, winning four, since Dallas slipped on its fifth and final ring.
Sure, fingers can be pointed all sorts of places. Coaches, players, injuries, retirements, etc., but first and foremost the buck stops with Jones.
Free agency’s arrival in 1993, followed by the salary cap in 1994, has reshaped the landscape and power dynamic in football. But that’s an evolution that should have favored Jones and his deep pockets in Dallas.
Since his first, best and seemingly last good decision in hiring Jimmy Johnson to resurrect the fading franchise in 1989, Jones’ revolving door of head coaches has included Barry Switzer (1994-97), who led the Cowboys to their fifth ring off the back of Johnson’s talent pool, Chan Gailey (1998-99), Dave Campo (2000-02), Bill Parcells (2003-06), Wade Phillips (2007-10), Jason Garrett (2010-19) and lastly Mike McCarthy (2020-present).
Dallas is 4-10 in post-season play since lifting its last Lombardi Trophy with nary a sniff at another. Not even an NFC championship game.
Jones, who despite scoffing at the notion of “firing himself” as GM, pulled no punches regarding his disappointment in the team’s seemingly heartless 6-10 season.
“But the fact that we’re not getting it done,” Jones told The Fan (105.3-FM KRLD) on Tuesday. “The fact that we aren’t in the playoffs right now, the fact that we don’t have a chance to get in that Super Bowl, all of that just makes me sick because this is the heyday of our game. This is the heyday of the NFL.
“It makes me sick.”
That makes two of us Jerry.
— Featured photo courtesy of the Dallas Cowboys