The League

Gene Wang
Fantasy Guru

Gene Wang

A sports staff writer at The Washington Post

Jonesing for a GM


As if we needed any more reason to believe Jerry Jones has lost touch with reality, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys goes and issues a gag order forbidding his coaching staff from speaking to the media.

Like that's going to help Dallas make the playoffs or mask the odor of this past season.
Jones mandated the directive after the fallout from what he has perceived as inaccurate offseason reports. Specifically, Jones cited a story detailing internal disagreement about whether to keep Terrell Owens.

"You can't get the full picture unless you visit with me," Jones told reporters at the NFL combine this past weekend.

Talk about your megalomaniacal rant.

Jones is, however, partially correct. We can't be completely familiar with the inner workings of the Cowboys without going directly to the top.

But do Dallas fans really want to know what's going on inside the mind of an owner who thought it was a good idea to keep Wade Phillips as the coach for another season? Or what about dealing the Cowboys' first-, third- and sixth-round picks in the draft to Detroit for Roy Williams and a seventh-rounder in 2010? Or better yet, there's that whole matter of keeping Adam Jones on the roster despite repeated off-field transgressions.

Should we consider Jones competent or rational in the wake of those decisions?
I suggest Cowboys fans rather be spared the gory details. After all, there's really not much to say after this past season's debacle, when Dallas went from Super Bowl contender to missing the playoffs in one of the most embarrassing declines in professional sports.

If we are to credit Jones for restoring relevance to the Dallas brand during the 1990s, then he must shoulder the burden of the 2008 Cowboys, who became the laughingstock of the NFL when avarice, entitlement and mismanagement replaced restraint, dignity and commonsense
Two seasons ago, the Cowboys sent a dozen players to the Pro Bowl yet failed to win in the playoffs game despite having a bye week and having home field in the NFC semifinals. This past season, Dallas crumbled beneath expectations of excellence, with their most disgraceful showing in the season finale against Philadelphia. The Cowboys would have secured a postseason berth with a win. They lost 44-3.

Instead of telling his coaching staff not to speak with the media, Jones ought to be devoting all his football time toward examining why 2008 was such a colossal failure and making sure there is no repeat performance.

It's not the media's fault the Cowboys haven't won a playoff game in 13 years. It's not the media's fault Jones is such a control freak that he insists on calling the shots rather than acquiescing to a proven general manager.

If there's anything Jones should have learned from his college playing days, it's that football is the ultimate team sport. That's true at the line of scrimmage and in the front office. The Cowboys can't win with Jones in charge of personnel matters -- he doesn't have Jimmy Johnson or Bill Parcells to bail him out anymore -- and no gag order is going to change that.

By Gene Wang  |  February 23, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Dallas Cowboys , Gene Wang Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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"The Cowboys can't win with Jones in charge of personnel matters -- he doesn't have Jimmy Johnson or Bill Parcells to bail him out anymore -- and no gag order is going to change that."

Fine, so having said that, shut up, sit back & let him figure that out. He can camp with Al Davis in the meantime.

He's got a great point, all this stuff in the media is fueling team dissent. You guys are in essence earning paychecks off the fact that someone has to win the SuperBowl and it can't be the same team every year. I can't imagine how it hurts you to not get "beefy anonymous quotes" but it's not in the teams' best interests.

Posted by: dubya19391 | February 23, 2009 6:29 PM

The Parcells era was good for the Cowboys, resulting in better talent. But please tell me how many playoff games Dallas won with Bill Parcells as the head coach? Then take a look at the last couple of drafts with Parcells in charge and compare those to the drafts that follow. For that matter, take a moment and remember that Parcells wanted to draft Spears before Ware but Jones said no.

Personnel decisions made by Jones are not the problem. But allowing his players to go around the coach -- that is another story.

Posted by: DouglasWeil | February 23, 2009 6:39 PM

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