Reports came Thursday that Adrian Peterson called Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, to express his desire to play for his team. Given how the Minnesota Vikings have basically wasted his prime years and that Peterson is from Texas, it makes sense that he would make that call. But considering the states of both franchises, patience, not a move to Dallas, would be best for Peterson.
The Cowboys have Jones innumerable millions and headlines alike. They’ve become the NFL’s most marketable franchise and earned the moniker “America’s Team.” All that glitz and glam has earned them exactly what on the field, though?
Since 1997, the Cowboys’ regular season sits at 136-136. The last three seasons have each ended with 8-8 records. While the Vikings have been unquestionably frustrating to play for (132-140 in that same time), the Cowboys haven’t exactly redefined success by any standard. Minnesota has had a worse regular-season record than Dallas over the span of Peterson’s career (54 wins compared to 63) but has one win in the playoffs compared Dallas’ none.
It’s always dangerous to judge a season by its preseason, but the roster has come together nicely in Minnesota. Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson has played in last year’s Pro Bowl and tight end Kyle Rudolph earned MVP honors in that same game. The Vikings are entering the full season under Head Coach Mike Zimmer and Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner has a proven record getting the best from running backs, especially those as talented as Peterson.
Few such bright spots are in Dallas. Yes, Dez Bryant has become a top five receiver. But Tony Romo is in the second half of his career, as is Jason Witten and, according to ESPN, Jason Garrett is ranked as the worst head coach in the NFL. Oh, and Jerry Jones? He’s apparently still kicking himself for not drafting Johnny Manziel. The mediocrity will continue in Dallas.
Should Peterson’s wishes be met and the Cowboys trade for him, they’d have to give up what little assets they have to improve the roster. He could go to Dallas as a free agent after this season should the Vikings cut him–if the season doesn’t meet expectations neither would blame either side. But that involves waiting to see how the season plays out–easily Peterson’s best move at this point.
It’s understandable that he was frustrated at any point this offseason, but if Peterson forces an exit now, on the verge of what could be a very productive season for he and his team, he could take an almost insurmountable hit to his image. And he could do so just to play in a worse situation than the one he’d be leaving.
Anthony F. Irwin is an NBA, NFL, MLB and NCAA Football contributor for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. Send him an email at Anthony.F.Irwin@gmail.com.