National Football League 2012: The Dallas Cowboys Problem Isn’t Jerry Jones, Its Their Past

I’ve been thinking about this for a little while because it has been puzzling me.

I’ve been thinking about how the Dallas Cowboys, “America’s Team”, “The Star” could go from such unmatched success to such a decline. I’ve heard every excuse imaginable from the media, fans, the team itself, other players, etc., but I decided (because I’ve been that drained from standardized testing study) to spend some of my free time trying to solve one of professional sports most intriguing mysteries.

What is the problem in Dallas?

Let me go ahead and state this before I move forward: Jerry Jones isn’t the problem with the Dallas Cowboys. I know people wanna scream and moan about how much Jerry should step down but consider this simple fact, he’s drafted (if he does indeed have that kind of control) more impact players than the New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills and more. Think about the draft just this past April when the Cowboys traded up to get Morris Claiborne. This was a year after they drafted Tyron Smith, Bruce Carter, and Demarco Murray; and two years after bringing in Dez Bryant and Sean Lee.

How many teams have put together drafts like that in consecutive years? How many fans out there would love to have an owner who trusts his scouts enough to bring these guys in? I watched the Dallas defense this year, they’re no fluke, folks. I would also consider not dumping so much on your Quarterback, statistically he’s been one of the best in the NFL since he took over in 2006 with a career rating of 95.5% (good for third among active starters), 161 touchdowns (to 85 interceptions) and in case you forgot, the guys before immediately before him didn’t do a third of what he has since he’s been behind center in Dallas(would you like Drew Bledsoe, Chad Hutchinson, or Quincy Carter? Perhaps Vinny Testaverde?).

The Cowboys have a history problem. Just like any other franchise that tastes success on a consistent basis, you want to keep it going and you’ll do anything you can to accomplish that.

The Atlanta Braves, who traded players such as Adam Wainwright (two World Series rings with the Cardinals), Elvis Andrus (two All-Star appearances, back-to-back World Series appearances and lead-off man in Texas), Neftali Feliz (72 saves between 2010-2011), and Matt Harrison (18 wins in 2012) to name just a few are just now getting back to where they need to be when they desperately wanted to keep their string of 14-consecutive division titles going instead of building for the future.

The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, storied franchises indeed, but neither willing to recognize that money doesn’t buy championships; prospect development and drafts do. Jeter, Pettitte, Rivera, Bernie Williams, Posada, Pedroia, Youkilis, Ellsbury, and Jon Lester all came up through their systems.

In the NFL you have the Raiders, Bills, Chiefs, and Jets all trying to make the splash but none of them realize that isn’t the way.

Jerry Jones does, he just needs to understand it isn’t 1995 anymore.

Jones is a winner in every sense of the word. He’s won in business, as an owner, and as someone who has brought Dallas quite a bit of opportunity with that new stadium. But if he takes a step back, looks at what his teams have done since 1996, and truly changes the culture of Dallas from the glitz and glamour that it is now, the entitled air of invincibility, I have no doubt in my mind Dallas will be a contender. Their past is what is hurting their future more than anything else; and if you’re Jerry Jones, a man hardwired to win, its eating at him.

So take on the mentality of a fighter trying to make it back and forget everything you’ve done, Jerry. If you can’t do that, Oakland can tell you how that will turn out.

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