Anyone who follows the Dallas Cowboys knows one of the problems with the team is owner Jerry Jones. He tries hard and he wants to win but Jones just doesn’t seem to know what it takes to be a general manager of a football team. It’s been that way for years and we all know Jones is never giving up the job so hopefully the Cowboys can somehow find a way to win in spite of Jones.
It hasn’t happened yet and if Jones keeps on making the same mistakes over and over again, he may never win the Super Bowl he wants so badly. One of the reasons Jones struggles as the general manager of the Cowboys is because he doesn’t know how to make tough decisions. Teams all around the league are releasing players that have been extremely productive because of declining play or for salary cap reasons, yet Jones continues to fail in making the same decisions.
The Baltimore Ravens, one of the standard franchises in the league and the Super Bowl winners, traded an aging wide receiver (Anquan Boldin), let a pass rusher walk away for nothing (Paul Kruger) and didn’t re-sign an aging leader (Ed Reed) because he wanted too much money. Do you think Jones would have had the guts to do any of that?
Also in the AFC North, the Pittsburgh Steelers let Mike Wallace become a free agent after some very good years and released one of their key contributors in their two Super Bowls in James Harrison, because he refused a pay cut. On the other hand, Jones massively overpaid for Miles Austin and can’t make the tough decision to cut Jay Ratliff despite his arrest.
Michael Turner, Steven Jackson, Osi Umenyiora, Nnamdi Asomugha, Wes Welker and a handful of other players key their team’s recent success, have all been released by their respective teams and yet the Cowboys still sit with Doug Free on the roster. Every team in the league is getting rid of aging stars while Jerry Jones extends those same types of players.
When the offseason began, the Cowboys had a few big decisions to make and here we sit in late March and very little progress has been made. Dallas doesn’t have new contracts for Anthony Spencer or Tony Romo, and even though Spencer has gotten the franchise tag no new contracts means the Cowboys can’t sign any free agents either. I don’t think it’s a big issue since the Cowboys weren’t going to be real players in free agency anyway but they left themselves no room to maneuver.
The Cowboys have also stayed status quo with players like Free, Austin and Ratliff, so while other teams around the league have cleared cap room and gotten rid of their dead weight, Jones has kept his. Whether you agree with what Jones has done with these players is irrelevant, the point remains that he hasn’t shown the ability to make tough choices with his football team.
Somewhere along the road as a general manager you have to make tough decisions for your team to move forward and Jerry Jones has rarely been able to make those decisions. It’s one of the things that have kept the Cowboys from being a consistently good football team and until he learns to make the difficult choices to make his team better, the mediocrity will continue.
Jones has the power to change all of this and he can do so moving forward this offseason, but it can’t be expected. Remember what they say about a tiger and his stripes.