19 years Since Cowboys’ Last Championship: Why?

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Why Has It Been 19 Years Since The Cowboys Last  Championship? I bet that is a question many of us Cowboys fans have asked ourselves over and over.

Championship rings

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 been  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 seasons 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.”

Tom Lnadry & Roger Staubach: Planning  a championship runOne 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 didn’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.

Will McClay: can he help the Cowboys get to a championship?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 isn’t difficult to hire one with a history of winning. I simply do NOT understand the General Manager’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 don’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.

Bill Parcells celebrates winning  the championsip

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 Jerry’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 anyone’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 can’t leave. Come on. Who wants a coach that doesn’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:

“the Cowboys tend to change their beliefs each year on what it is they need or what they’re about. I find that to be somewhat unusual for a club that has been owned by the same owner for however long it’s been.”

despite not having won a championship in almost 20 yearsj Jerry Jones Job as GM is secure.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 screaming  at the top of our lungs:

“How Bout Dem Cowboys”!

Join the discussion and follow me @robsportsguy.

Rob Wash

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  • Great Job on the article Rob. You raised some valid arguments and they were backed with facts rather than opinions. That’s how it should be.

    • Rob Wash

      Thanks Cas. The more I think about this topic. The more I don’t understand why it has been so long since the last championship. D. Woodson said it best I think. Jerry Jones is the best owner in all of sports. He just isn’t a very good GM.

      • that is exactly right.

      • He also has the satisfaction of knowing the media blames Romo.It takes the focus of of him

  • Lionone1

    It takes a complete team to win it all. Dallas had that in the 90’s with Jerry, Johnson all the staff and the players. Since those relationships broke up the Cowboys have only had partial amounts of team success. Don’t you remember those seasons where they would score over 20+ points even 30+ points and lose? Romo starts 2006. Jason Garrett took over OC in 2007. They went 13-3. 2008 went 9-7 (scoring over 20+ in TEN games) In 2009 they went 11-5 (11 games over 20 points). In 2010 they went 6-10 (Cowboys scoring over 20+ points in TWELVE games) 2011 record 8-8 on one win under 20 points (over 20+ in 8 games). 2012 8-8 ( scoring over 20+ in TEN games) And 2013 record 8-8 ( scoring over 20+ points in THIRTEEN games)

    • Al

      The bottom line is, Tony has always done his job, teams that win championships have a defense that allows an avg of 17 pts per game or less.

      • Rob Wash

        Right! 10 less points then they gave up last year. It is shocking they were 8-8 giving up 27 points a game. The fact that they were in a do or die game in week 17 is miraculous!

        • a lot of teams don’t even get 27 points a game.without Romo this is a 1-15 to 3-13 team last year

      • Lionone1

        The entire next two paragraphs that i typed didn’t show up. which I worked really hard on :(. I talked about the defensive side of the ball since Romo and Garrett took over and I also talked about the word “contention” from the past to the present.

        For instance, in 1998 they go 10-6 winning the division even with an Aikman injury but, lose to the Cardinals who they beat soundly twice that year. Then in the following year (1999) he loses his most important reciever Irvin to injury for good (Irvin retires). They struggle despite having a good start to the season and the 90’s Cowboys as we know it starts to come to an end with another injury riddled season in 2000. Then starts the Qb dilemma. Quincy is drafted and injured almost imediately for the 2001 season. This is what hurt the Cowboys the most, in my opinion, during ALL the early 2000’s. Not having a consistent signal caller and offensive coordinator. They did draft some notables like Flo, Williams, and Gurode. Who Parcells took full advantage of and added his own Ware, Spears, Ratliff. etc. The 2005-6 Cowboys are in “contention” once again but, Tony loses the ball, they lose the first game of the play-offs. Parcells retires. Romo, Garrett, McClay, Stephen Jones,

        So bottom line as easy as it is for me to blame Jerry and I absorb what the fans say. But, as I look back or do research on the team history, It shows me that its a multitude of things such as untimely injuries just like we have dealt with the past two years on defense. The Cowboys have been in contention and are still relevant. Its a matter of everything coming together at the right time. If this 2014 defense can continue to swarm the ball and create turnovers like it did last year and stay healthy. This could be a fun year for the offense, HC, and all Cowboys fans.

        • Alexander James

          Injuries are Jerry’s fault when he drafts people with a history of them. Missing 42.5% of his starts (including the upcoming 2014 season), Sean Lee is the most glaring example even though Jerry does it all the time.
          Not only is Lee occupying a roster spot, but Jerry will not seriously invest in a replacement so we are left with a HUGE hole in the middle of our D.

          • you are absolutely right. If you draft injury prone, you get injury prone. Jerry calls it value lol.

          • Lionone1

            Ah man Sean Lee is the only example they took a chance on because he is a great player. What about the other 19-20 players injured. With the old Cowboys if Aikman or Irvin or Smith isn’t on the field they are a completely different team and it showed. Thats just 3 guys. This team still had a chance to win the division with a plethora of injuries. I’m not saying i’m comfortable with the team, Spence, Melton, Crawford, etc injury history But, something has got to go the Cowboys way at some point.

  • californy

    I couldnt help but notice in all our SB years the boys had more running yards than passing yards. As we won the SB the team was getting younger. That despite signing player to long term contract. Our defense also got better too as we won the last SB.

    JG team have gotten younger too but he has not produce better number offensively or defensively. For me his team lack a sense of direction, No matter how you paint it, it come down to the poor draft on the defensive side of the ball

  • Alexander James

    It all ends with Jerry. The only thing he does well is marketing. Any success we have had outside of Parcells & Jimmy is pure coincidence. Any doubt that the Boys would be perennial 10 game winners with Sean Payton running the show?

    • The biggest mistake Jerry made in recent years was letting him walk out the door when Parcells quit