Why Has It Been 19 Years Since The Cowboys LastÂ Championship? I bet that is a question many of us Cowboys fans have asked ourselves over and over.
The provocation I have with all of it is: why are the Cowboys not even competing for a championship? This once proud organization is going through one hell of a drought. The drought has beenÂ extended to not only championships, but it has been 5 years since the Cowboys reached the playoffs.
This is the same organization that went to the playoffs 18 times between 1966 and 1985. What exactly is the problem? How much longer do we the fans have to wait?
I am going to state a few of the reasons why I believe it has been so long. I, like many older fans, dream of seasonsÂ past. They were full of playoff wins and losses alike, but they were a team that got into the tournament every year. There was always hope the Cowboys would get to the championship because they were in contention every year .The old saying was,
“The road to the Super Bowl goes through Dallas.”
One of the reasons this team won so many games during the dynasty years was because of Jimmy Johnson’s drafts. The reason they won so many games during the Landry era was because of exceptional drafts.
Bill Parcells had this team going in the right direction. Let’s not forget the team that Parcells put together went 13-3. The Cowboys have failed to build on that core group of players they had. The organization felt like they were close, and as a result, they neglected the draft. Instead of building a team with depth, they went out and did things like trading away a #1 pick for Roy E. Williams. Simply put; they didnâ€™t capitalize on what they had by adding competition and depth. Instead they cherry picked certain players thinking they were this player or that player away from a championship.
The Cowboys quickly ascertained they were more than 1 player away; (or at least the fans did). I honestly believe up until 2 years ago, certain folks in the organization still thought this team was only a few players away. I know stating that one of the reasons the Cowboys have failed to reach consistent post season appearances due to poor drafting is obvious, but go back and look at just how poor some of the drafts have been. I could go on and on. Straightaway, all is not lost.
The Cowboys front office recently promoted Will McClay to assistant director of player personnel and he has an eye for talent. It seems as though the Cowboys have realized their recent blunders in the draft and have charted a course to correct them. I of course am going to postpone judgment on the 2013 and 2014 draft, but I think that we can at least agree it is on an upswing.
I am probably most frustrated with the coaching hires over the past 18 seasons than anything else. In the draft, no one is a sure thing, but when choosing a coach it isnâ€™t difficult to hire one with a history of winning. I simply do NOT understand the General Managerâ€™s choice in coaches throughout the years. This organization has gone from the legendary Tom Landry to Jimmy Johnson to Chan Gailey to Dave Campo?? I mean donâ€™t get me wrong, Dave Campo is a good defensive back coach, but head coach?? Bill Parcells to Wade Phillips? Again, Phillips is a strong defensive coordinator, but he had never won a playoff game as a head coach.
When Hall Of Fame head coach Bill Parcells left, Mr. Jones hired Jason Garrett as the offensive coordinator, before he hired a head coach? Who does that? The fact that Jerry hired him like that took him out of the running for several reputable coaches that would want to hire their own staff.
Winning being the ultimate goal: why would one do that?
I understand that this is Jerryâ€™s team and it’s funded with his money, but this is the same man that hired Jimmy Johnson and stood next to him and watched him build a dynasty. Johnson had a plan and executed it. Oh sure, the Vikings helped by wanting Hershel Walker, but is there a doubt in anyoneâ€™s mind that the Cowboys would have won championships even without that trade? I have no doubt they would have still won. When I speak on coaching I am not just talking about head coaches either. The debacle surrounding this Linehan/Callahan thing is ridiculous. The Cowboys promoted Callahan, stripped him of his power, and then had the audacity to tell him; NO you canâ€™t leave. Come on. Who wants a coach that doesnâ€™t want to coach for your team, but is forced to stay due to his contract? Hire a proven coach and let the coach hire his own staff. Period.
The Cowboys are in a unique position: their General Manager is also the owner. There is nothing wrong with that. He spent millions to buy and market the team, so he should get a say, but I echo what Troy Aikman said recently:
â€œthe Cowboys tend to change their beliefs each year on what it is they need or what theyâ€™re about. I find that to be somewhat unusual for a club that has been owned by the same owner for however long itâ€™s been.â€
Before the Cowboys will see another title, this has to be corrected plain and simple. Jerry has really failed the fans. This team found a franchise QB in Tony Romo and simply failed to build a team around him.
To put it in laymen terms, Jerry knew he had a good QB and thought that was all he needed. Blown drafts, ballooned contracts, foolish trades like Roy E. Williams and continued mistakes on coaching hires, really comes down to his decisions.
Why not hire an assistant GM?
A proven football man to collaborate with? My hope is the recent promotion of Will McClay is an indication it is finally happening. I criticize Jerry a lot, but I know he wants to win and win at all costs. I just really hope that his ego does not continue to stand in the way of hoisting another Lombardi trophy. There is no “I” in team. Perhaps someone should remind Jerry Jones of that bromidic statement.
I want to close out this article by stating this one thing. The Cowboys are not far off friends. They are not. The additions to the offensive line and the injection of young talent on this team have this organization at least pointed in the right direction. The offense can be top 5. The defense of course, is the main concern at this time, but in my opinion, this 2014 team has more potential than any over the past 3 years. The Cowboys have Rod Marinelli guiding the defense: going back to what I said before, he “IS” a coach with a proven track record of being a successful defensive coordinator.
The single most important thing will be the role of McClay, and whether or not he has the ability to persuade Jerry Jones to keep building this team through the draft and picking up those low cost free agents when the opportunity arises, rather than overspending. Better days are ahead. Sooner rather than later, I hope we are all once again screamingÂ at the top of our lungs:
â€œHow Bout Dem Cowboys”!
Join the discussion and follow me @robsportsguy.