Watching the Dallas Cowboys/New Orleans Saints game Sunday night just left a very bad taste in my mouth. It took me all week to finally get myself together to write this article. My wife thought I was going to burn all of my Dallas Cowboys jerseys, flags, hats, and banners! I think I used more curse words in the second quarter of play than I have used in my lifetime! Watching two ex-Cowboys coaches just torment their former employer is the straw that broke my camelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s back. I have to say it again: Mr. Jerry Jones, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
Going back, and I mean back to Chan Gailey: Jerry Jones decision-making has really hurt the Dallas Cowboys on the football field. The money machine that is the business side of this team has not suffered. The Dallas Cowboys brand is the number one sport brand in America and only second to Manchester United of England worldwide.
Jerry Jones himself stated he made a bad decision when he fired Chan GaileyÃ‚Â because he did not give him a chance to turn the team around. ChanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s record was 18-14 as the Cowboys head coach (10-6 in 1998 and 8-8 in 1999). Both years the Cowboys were wildcard playoff teams and that was as far as they would go.
The Jimmy Johnson teams that dominated the early and mid-90s spoiled Jerry Jones. I know some people want to give Barry Switzer some credit for his years as the Dallas Cowboys head coach. However, the core of the team the first three of his four years as head coach were JimmyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s men.
The next miscalculation wasÃ‚Â promoting Dave Campo from defensive coordinator to head coach. It was at this time we the Dallas Cowboys fans should have known Jerry Jones was looking for a Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yes manÃ¢â‚¬Â to coach the Cowboys. I am figuring, just a thought, theÃ‚Â basis forÃ‚Â Dave Campo’s promotion was his being with Jimmy Johnson at Miami and during the Superbowl years in Dallas. Maybe Jerry Jones was hoping Dave would bring back some of the Jimmy Johnson style of Cowboys football. We all know the answer to that hope. Dave Campo coached the Dallas Cowboys to three straight 5-11 seasons (2000-2002) before being fired. Dave Campo made a return to Big D as the defensive backs coach for the 2008 season under Wade Phillips.
Most Dallas Cowboys fansÃ‚Â showed excitement with the hiring of Bill Parcels. The “Big Tuna” was coming to Big D! It was time to get the discipline which vanished over the years back in Valley Ranch. Although I know it took a lot of convincing, Jerry Jones did give up some control of the Dallas Cowboys to ParcellsÃ‚Â in order for him to accept the job.
Now this is where things get very interesting. When Bill ParcellsÃ‚Â came to Valley Ranch, he brought along a bright young man as his quarterbacks and assistant head coach. That man was Sean Payton. This was a good match for the defensive minded Parcells. At this point, everyone thought Jerry Jones got it right. Sean Payton coached Quincy Carter, Vinny Testaverde, and Drew Bledsoe to 3000 plus yard passing seasons. TestaverdeÃ‚Â and Bledsoe were nearing the end of their careers at that point and time.
During Bill Parcells four years in Dallas, he only had one losing season (2004) with four different quarterbacks under center during his tenure. It was after the 2005 season when most Dallas Cowboys fans realized Jerry Jones decision skills as a GM were very questionable.
The 2006 season saw Sean Payton on the sidelines of the New Orleans Saints. The best Ã¢â‚¬Å“smartÃ¢â‚¬Â move Jerry Jones made was turning down a trade Sean offered for Tony Romo. Then again, if Sean Payton would have given Jerry what he wanted (a second round pick), Tony Romo would be a Superbowl champion instead of Drew BreesÃ‚Â (PaytonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s second choice).Todd Haley (WR Coach) and Tony SporanoÃ‚Â (Running Game Coordinator) took over the Offensive Coordinator duties.
This was the season you could see Bill Parcells mind was not on the game of football any longer. His former players spoke about how he did not have the Ã¢â‚¬Å“fireÃ¢â‚¬Â when players messed up. We all saw Tony Romo come in during the second half of the New York Giants game that year and do okay. I was actually in Texas Stadium for that game. Bill ParcellsÃ‚Â always said donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t praise Tony Romo because he is not a rookie. HeÃ‚Â was expectedÃ‚Â to play like he did when it was his turn to start: especially after being on the bench for about three years. Bill left the Dallas Cowboys after landing a wildcard berth. We all remember the mis-handled hold and I will not go any further on that.
The 2007 season saw a lot of changes in Dallas. Wade Philips came to town. Most fans agreed with the signing because Wade was a great defensive coordinator. A guru of the 3-4 defense put in place by departing head coach Bill Parcells. Some thought of it as a good move by Jerry Jones. Others had a few doubts. Along with Wade Philips, Jerry Jones brought in Jason Garrett as the offensive coordinator. It seemed like a match made in heaven as they stormed through the NFL on their way to a 13-3 record and a trip to the playoffs.
Now pay close attention to this. This was Jason GarrettÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s first year with the team as it was Tony RomoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s first full season as the starter for the Dallas Cowboys. In 2007, the Dallas offenseÃ‚Â ranked in the top 5 in most categories. I am guessing Jerry Jones was patting himself on the back. He thought he found a viable replacement for Sean Payton. After seeing what Garrett did in his one season as the Dallas Cowboys OC, many teams were looking to bring him in as their head coach. We all know Jerry Jones thought Jason Garret was a genius.
To keep the wolves at bay, he signed Garrett to a contract valued at almost $3 million: almost as much as Wade Phillips was making then. I consider this a mistake, but hey, I am only one man with an opinion. This made him the highest paid ASSISTANT coach in the NFL. I saw this as the beginning of the end for Wade and he never saw it coming.
Over the next two seasons, the offense started to lose some strength, but the defense started to come around. They finished the 2008 season 9-7 just missing the playoffs. They rebounded nicely for the 2009 season finishing 11-5 with a playoff berth.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â In addition, 2009 gave the Dallas Cowboys their first playoff win since 1995.
The 2010 season, to me, was the shadiest season I have ever seen as a Dallas Cowboys fan. This is when I started to see the short comings for Jerry Jones as the GM. It seemed the offense could not score. They simply could not move the ball. His defense could not stop a little old lady from crossing the street if they tried. Tony Romo going down due to injury did not help matters either. Here it is hard to place blame.
The defense could not rest because the offense was giving back the ball. The offense could not score in the Red-Zone, which is still a problem today. Field-goals do not win football games if the defense cannot stop the other team from scoring touchdowns. Having a 1-7 record midway through the season, Jerry Jones thought it was Wade PhillipsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ fault and fired him. Some agreed with the firing. I for one knew it was coming when Jerry Jones gave Jason Garrett that giant contract. Although Garrett coached the team up to finish with a 6-10 record, it amazed me after he got the job, the offense actually started scoring again. Maybe it is just me, but it looked like a tank job.
Now, here we are 3 years later. Three and a half years as the head coach of our beloved Dallas Cowboys, JasonÃ‚Â Garrett has not come close to the winning ways of Wade Phillips nor Bill Parcells. Going 5-3 for the second half of the 2010 season, Garrett is now even at .500 (21-21). He has not gotten the Dallas Cowboys to the playoffs. Hell, the Cowboys have not been able to win the weakestÃ‚Â division in the NFL since heÃ‚Â became head coach.
Oh yes, Jerry Jones has used five different defensive coordinators since naming Jason Garrett the offensive coordinator (Brian Stewart, Wade Phillips, Paul Pasqualoni, Rob Ryan, and Monte Kiffin). The defensive leaders may have changed, but the offensive troubles are still there. I still say the firing of Rob Ryan is the third worst decision Jerry Jones has ever made. The first, letting Jimmy Johnson walk away. Promoting Dave Campo to head coach was his second mistake. TheÃ‚Â third mistake was the firing of Wade Phillips.
Jason Garrett has controlled the Dallas Cowboys offense since 2007. Please remember what I said earlier. Tony Romo has played in this offense since his first full season as a starter. Nothing has changed in this offense since 2007. You would think by now everyone in the NFL, and incoming rookies from college know the Dallas Cowboys playbook better that the Cowboys themselves.
Dallas Cowboys fans can tell you the horror of Jerry Jones and his draft day choices (BrrrrÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ a bitter chill just went up my spine). My focus in this article was primarily on the coaching choices he has made over the years. Everyone places the blame on Tony Romo. Well, if the only playbook you have ever looked at in your NFL career as a starter has not changed, others are boundÃ‚Â to figure out how to beat you. By the look of things, the last three and a half years, I think they have. This year the play caller may have changed, but the playbook is still the same.
Haunted by the firing of Chan Gailey, Jerry JonesÃ‚Â fears lettingÃ‚Â Jason Garrett go in fear he will go elsewhere and deliver a Superbowl victory. My advice to you Mr. Jones, either grow a pair or hire someone who has the testicular fortitude to drop the hammer when someone is not performing the duties theyÃ‚Â were hiredÃ‚Â to perform. Stop giving out contracts to one year wonders. Do not talk to the media before games, after games, during games, bye weeks, OTAs, training camp, the draftÃ¢â‚¬Â¦. I think you get the picture. You need to stop being AL Davis and start acting like Tex Stram, The RooneyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s, Robert Kraft, and Tom Benson.Ã‚Â We only need toÃ‚Â see youÃ‚Â in the skybox and on the podium to accept the Superbowl trophy! We, the fans, are tiredÃ‚Â of hearing you talk. Mr. Jones, you are a great business man, but a football GM you are not. I have to admit, we Dallas Cowboys fans are spoiled by our winning traditions. Some of us even wonder if this team is living up to the name “America’s Team”. It is time to get back to true Cowboys Football. It is time to start winning not only games, but championships. I think I speak for most fans when I say, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.