The Dallas Cowboys‘ approach to the 2013 NFL offseason really sums up the organization and its failures over the past few years. The free agency period began on March 12 and Lord knows Dallas needs some serious help at several positions, especially the offensive line, but the team was unable to make any moves because the Cowboys’ salary cap situation is so dreadful. Yet team owner and general manager Jerry Jones continues to restructure and backload contracts in an attempt to clear cap space. That we’ll-do-it-later attitude is what has doomed Dallas in recent years and will continue to do so if something doesn’t change quickly.
If you don’t think that attitude affects the organization from top to bottom, you’re nuts. The Cowboys’ coaches and players treat their jobs the same way, which is why the team has been .500 or worse over the past few years. Every time the team takes one step forward, it takes one or sometimes two steps back.
Basically, Jones is doing just enough to get by right now and isn’t planning for the future. That’s why the Cowboys brought in free agent offensive linemen Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings last year to “fortify” their offensive line even though neither one of them could do a decent job on a college team’s offensive line. That’s why the Cowboys still have no plans whatsoever to start grooming a replacement for Tony Romo. That’s why Romo’s contract extension still isn’t finalized. That’s why there’s still drama over who will be calling Dallas’ offensive plays this year. See a trend here?
The Cowboys have been doing just enough to get by at the present moment for so long that the team has forgotten how to build a winning team. Jimmy Johnson built the Cowboys dynasty of the 1990s through the draft with players who became quality starters in two-three years. He also solidified the team with solid free agent signings at positions of need. Today, Dallas aborts its plans before they’re even into the developing stages. Rob Ryan‘s 3-4 defense showed incredible promise in his second season despite a slew of injuries and Dallas had arguably the best 3-4 linebacking crew in the NFL, yet the team prematurely switched to a 4-3 this offseason before the players even had time to learn Ryan’s system.
Jones needs to get it together and start actually planning for the future and sticking with those plans. But if you’re counting on that to happen, you’re as delusional as he is.