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Approaching a Crossroads

philyew3's picture

I've been saying for a while that whoever coaches the team will still be coaching Jerry Jones' Dallas Cowboys. The logical extension that I have so far avoided is that whoever is a fan of the team is also a fan of Jerry Jones' Dallas Cowboys.

We can seek to avoid the issue by thinking of the greater heritage of the franchise and take comfort in the fact that all things must pass and - one day - Jerry will no longer be in control...But in the end, whether we like it or not, the package that has appeared on the field for over two decades, has Jones' stamp of ownership all over it and that's what we have been cheering for and agonizing about.

What is inescapable, with the benefit of historical perspective, is that the package without the essential ingredient of Jimmy Johnson is nothing more than mediocre at best.

The problem is Jerry has such a skewed view of history he believes not only that he was the architect of his initial success, but that - despite all the evidence of the intervening 17 seasons - he can still somehow recreate that success.

His assertion this week that he will never relinquish the GM role is therefore a challenge to all of us as fans. Are we prepared to accept the promise of mediocrity, disguised as delusional optimism, indefinitely? Or do we say that, until the management regime changes, our continued support is nothing more than a gigantic enabler of that delusion, and we can no longer be a party to it?

This is a matter of individual conscience and preference. The fate of the world doesn't hang on the choice and it's up to each one of us to decide how this impacts our own personal commitment.

I've been very fortunate over the years. As a overseas convert to this great game, my flirtation with the Cowboys began, relatively late in life and for the most trivial of reasons, back in 1981. It took almost ten years for that long distance flirtation to turn into a full-blown romance, and I was lucky enough to meet the object of my affection for the very first time "in-the-flesh" at Super Bowl XXVII.

Suffice to say that I will never love any other franchise after that mind-blowing first meeting. But - like any marriage - sometimes love just isn't enough. Sometimes, when the partner of your dreams flat out refuses to give up their self-destructive behavior, you have to make a choice about whether you have to walk away.

It kind of feels like it's coming to that point now. Jerry has said unequivocally that he ain't going to "put down the crack pipe", so I have to decide sooner or later whether I continue to stand by the team, or retreat for my own peace of mind.

Of course, this is a hideously contrived and, some might say, distasteful analogy. I don't mean to trivialize the nightmare of relationships wracked by self-destructive compulsions and I don't mean to insult Jerry either. Still, I know that I invest an unhealthy amount of my life and personal sense of well-being in this team, and now may be as good a time as any to redress that imbalance.

So the question I am asking myself is, what should I do? Continue to share in the delusion, which means that the result in Philadelphia this weekend will once again influence me irrationally, whatever the outcome? Or should I find ways of creating some distance between me and this relationship which seems to deliver far more pain than pleasure?

I know that fans of most of the franchises around the league would experience a HUGE reality check, if the owner of their favorite team came out and said flat out that they would NEVER fire the GM, irrespective of the results on the field. That's where we are now.

I'll let everyone else reach their own personal conclusions without trying to influence them one way or the other, but I have to acknowledge that I am rapidly approaching my crossroads. I'll be more than happy to hear why any of you think I should take one path or the other, but please just don't confuse this for a bandwagon thing.

I'll always love the Cowboys, but I'm just not sure I can live with them right now.

Tim
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 Jerry has a face-saving out he can take:
 
Last month, Jerry Jones turned 70. Without firing himself, or admitting his shortcomings as a GM, he could very understandably retire after this season. He can even stay as owner and face of the franchise. He can still do the rapping Papa John's commercials and sell Victoria's Secret at the stadium.
 
He'll just be cutting back on his hours to enjoy semi-retirement.
 
How about it, Jerry? It was great run, buddy, but time to take it easy in your old age.

philyew3
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 OK...so here I am again, irrationally uplifted by a win in which the defense and special teams outscored the still stuttering offense.
 
For a while there, I was thinking that maybe we would see the Eagles improved by the loss of their struggling starting QB, but eventually the rookie was exposed. It was satisfying to see the Eagles fan base first getting what they wished for - a QB change - and then learning that the grass is seldom greener...
 
That's a sobering reminder for us though: change isn't always for the better. 
 
One change, however, which absolutely has to come is getting a control of the hair trigger responses and general mountain of dumba$$ that again cost the team big. Thirteen penalties...THIRTEEN! Five of them on Claiborne...FIVE! Words fail me.
 
The offense still looks bereft of ideas in many situations. Please tell me why, when they have been running all over the Eagles, they called straight pass plays to make a yard at the Eagles 41, and end up punting? Third down execution continues to be lamentable - this week it was 38% effective, though it has to be admitted that third down effeciency on its own is no guarantee of success. In fact the three occasions this year that Dallas recorded a 50% or better performance were all losses.
 
Still, on the bright side, we now have personnel who understand the importance of positive yards on kick returns. Don't run out the end zone, if you aren't going to make it as far as the 20, and don't try to run before you can even catch on punt returns, and when you do run...the end zone is THAT WAY!!!
 
I guess the biggest positive is that when you give the defense a full field to work with (i.e. no turnovers) they can actually contribute and help out a offense which will doubtless continue to stutter.
 
Still the season retains a pulse. Bill Cowher was rash enough to say that, with the upcoming schedule, Dallas would now steadily take over the division and beat out the Giants to the automatic playoff spot. Not so sure about that, but the schedule becomes a little more friendly now, though we have learned to write off the Giants at our peril in previous years. 
 
This win doesn't solve many, or even any, of the fundamental problems, but for those of us who are irrationally addicted to this team it will doubtless keep us coming back for more.