Monday, January 28, 2013

No Pressure: The Cowboys are not in the Super Bowl...... Again

It was January 28th, 1996. The weekend's top movie was "Mr. Holland's Opus." Gasoline was $1.12 per gallon and the Dallas Cowboys won their third Super Bowl in four years 27-17 over the Pittsburgh Steelers. It would also be the last time we would see my team, America's Team, in the big game.

When the 49ers take the field against the Ravens Sunday, they will become the 12th NFC team to represent the conference since Dallas last appeared. The Washington Redskins are the only other NFC team not to make it to the final game since 1996. Think about that Cowboy fans......... Us and the 'Skins.

Eight winning seasons out of the last seventeen. There are many Cowboy fans, like me, who have taken a big swig of the Kool-Aid. I love'm. But the effects are wearing off and it is becoming very clear as the fog begins to lift. We have one of the best owners in the league. He purchased the team for $150 million and today the club is worth over $2 Billion. He has built one of the most beautiful stadiums ever constructed, increased the value of the Cowboy brand and has raised and given millions to charity. But as good as the owner is, we have the absolute worst General Manager in the NFL. And our dilemma is that, as we all know, the best owner and worst GM is the same guy. Jerry Jones.

The team has has seven head coaches since 1998. This doesn't even account for the idiotic move of forcing Jimmy Johnson out and replacing him with Barry Switzer. Jerry has totally neutered every coach since Johnson left, including Bill Parcells, whom he had lured out of retirement. Jones just doesn't want to share the spotlight, he wants to be the only person in it. Parcells had way too much juice for Jones. It is this lack of self esteem and jealousy that has brought, in addition to Parcells,the likes of Chan Gailey, Dave Campo, Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett to the same position once held by Tom Landry.

And because of these weaker Head Coaches and Jones' position as GM he calls all the shots. He hires the coaching staff, he gives updates on the team and he is the "go to" person about team details. Any great organization needs order and when a Head Coach has no power, in a competitive business like the NFL, it is just enough to lose the edge. The Browns, Bengals, Redskins and Raiders under the late Al Davis all had meddlesome owners and the on-field success of these organizations is eerily similar over the last 15 years.

Even scarier is that Daniel Snyder may finally have gotten it. You do not get a more controlling coach than Mike Shanahan. It will absolutely be a dagger to the heart if Snyder, Shanahan, and RGIII lead Washington to the Super Bowl before Dallas gets back, but until the Owner fires the General Manager that potential nightmare is a very real possibility.


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