Jerry Jones could learn something from Mark Cuban

Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, and Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, have a lot in common. They both have egos as big as the city of Dallas.

But Mark has several qualities we’ll never see from Jerry. He has a humbleness that allowed him to put his team first. He did not speak publicly from when the Mavs won the Western Conference Championship to when they won the World Championship. And he said next to nothing during the entire playoff run.

That is certainly against his nature, and had to be difficult for him.

And, after his team won, when everyone was up on the stage at center court, David Stern called him forward to receive the golden trophy he’s worked so hard to earn. Instead of accepting the glory that few people would begrudge him, he asked Stern to give the trophy to Donald Carter, the 78-year-old original owner of the Dallas Mavericks franchise.

That shows a humbleness, a willingness to put others first, that I can’t imagine Jerry Jones ever portraying. And that’s part of the reason the Cowboys languish in mediocracy and underachievement.

Both basketball and football are team sports, but only one of these owners truly understands that.

Of course, the Mark Cuban we all know did come back. He tweeted last night that he slept with the trophy.

I only hope he took it out for a nice breakfast this morning.

Don Meredith Passes

It has just been reported that former Dallas Cowboy and long-time sports announcer Don Meredith has died of a brain hemorrhage. He was 72.

Meredith played quarterback for the Cowboys from 1960 to 1968.

That was before my time, but I remember him for his work as a sportscaster, most notably for Monday Night Football from 1977 to 1984. MNF has never been as good as it was with Meredith and Howard Cosell.

Meredith’s wife, Susan, and his daughter were at his side in Santa Fe when he died.

Turn off the lights, Dandy Don.

Dallas Cowboys’ First Preseason Game

Dallas Cowboys vs Oakland Raiders in preseason football

I stayed up way past my bed time last night to watch the entire Dallas Cowboys preseason game against the Oakland Raiders. Here are are some of my thoughts.

The audio for the telecast was awful. Sounded like it was coming across an old am radio.

The starting Dallas offense looked quite good. Romo spread the ball around well, and the timing was on for everyone, especially for a first game.

Jason Witten will probably be the number one option for catching the ball. The number two option should be Roy Williams, but Martellus Bennett really looked good as well. The chemistry seems much better with T.O. gone.

The offensive line gave Romo forever on his touchdown pass. He could have made a sandwich, cut off the crusts, and eaten it before making the throw.

The Cowboys are very deep at running back, and have two solid tight ends. Other than that, the offense looks shallow.

Sam Hurd looked great. Lots of hustle and talent. He may beat out Miles Austin for the number three wide receiver spot.

The defense looks a bit softer than last year, but has plenty of time to improve. Depth may be a problem for the entire unit.

The Wingstop commercial with Jerry Jones was goofy.

No surprise here, but Kitna is mediocre at back-up quarterback, at best. Let’s hope Romo doesn’t go down, because behind Kitna, we have…

Stephen McGee…

Look, I want McGee to do well. I’ve seen the YouTube videos of him in high school. He was amazing throwing to Jordan Shipley. Then he was horrible for four years at Texas A&M.

Nothing would show the irrelevance of the Aggies than for McGee to do well in the pros after riding the bench there for his senior year. And for other than a couple of whiny, bush-league comments against Texas, he’s seemed like a pretty good kid.

Dallas Cowboys v Oakland Raiders

However, last night he was just bad.

Yes, I know he’s a rookie in his first pre-season game, playing with backups, but he was playing against backups as well. His timing was way off, and he seemed to be aiming at the receivers knees.

The Wife pointed out that he spent more time running backwards than anything else. Even when he wasn’t being heavily pursued, he was giving up fifteen yards on his rollouts. When you have trouble throwing accurately much past twenty yards, this is a problem.

Unfortunately, other than for one game against OU four years ago, this is what he did his entire college career. Jason Garrett has got some work in front of him to break that well ingrained habit.

My favorite lines from the announcers:

McGee runs for his life.

McGee hit as he throws to no one.

Some things just don’t change.

Time may be running out for “Fourth and Long” winner Jesse Holley. He got in the game for a kickoff and a few plays, but the ball never came his direction. He did show hustle and desire to block down field, but wasn’t very effective at doing so.

I believe that fulfills the contractual requirements between the show and the Dallas Cowboys, so there’s no guarantee we’ll see him in another game. The first cut is September 1st, so he has at least another two and a half weeks as a Cowboy.

I’d love to see him get a real chance, with some passes coming his way. At this point, he should be hoping to make the practice squad.

Brian Orakpo to Washington Redskins

2009 NFL Scouting Combine Day 5

Brian Orakpo, former defensive end for the Texas Longhorns, was picked by the Washington Redskins as the 13th pick in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft. By dropping to the Redskins, he is guaranteed to visit the state of Texas at least once every year, as he tees up Tony Romo in one of their two games every season.

Said Orakpo shortly after the pick was announced:

I can’t put it into words how I feel right now. Being a first-round draft pick is a dream come true. It really shows how hard work pays off and is a tribute to my family, coaches, teammates – everyone that helped me get here. It was tough to wait a little longer than I expected, but when it came down to the Washington Redskins, I was really excited. I had a great visit their with Mr. Snyder, Vinny Cerrato and Coach Zorn. It just felt like the perfect fit. It’s a lot like Texas, a great organization with a proud history, a winning tradition, great fans. I can’t wait to get to work and do my best to help the Redskins. I told them when we had dinner on my visit there that I guaranteed them I would work as hard as anybody, and now I’m ready to show them.

Washington general manager Vinny Cerrato played for Longhorn head coach Mack Brown at Iowa State, and clearly felt pretty strongly about this pick. It took approximately 13.7 seconds to come in, and Cerrato had a personalized jersey ready for Orakpo.

Said Coach Brown:

We think Brian Orakpo is as good a pass rusher as we’ve had since we’ve been at Texas, and really at North Carolina, because we had some great pass rushers there, as well. His strength speaks for itself, he can definitely stop the run, but his first step, his quickness, his agility to make the big offensive tackle shuffle his feet and lose a half second to get to the quarterback, is something you just can’t find anymore. Pass rushers in the college game right now are so valuable and so hard to get, same thing in the pros. It’s something everyone’s looking for, and he just fits that bill.

Orakpo will likely be a problem for my beloved Dallas Cowboys for many years. They play twice a season, and I just don’t see anyone on the Cowboys offensive line with the speed or skill to consistently slow Orakpo down, much less stop him.

Congrats, Brian. Even though you were picked by the bad guys, you’ll still be one of my favorite Longhorns.

Dallas Cowboys to cut Terrell Owens

The Maxim Party - Arrivals

While there is no official word yet, ESPN and Fox News reported late last night that the Dallas Cowboys are going to cut Wide Receiver and Chief Derision Officer Terrell Owens. Good. If I want drama, I’ll watch American Idol.

With this move, and the clearly waning interest in Safety and former Sooner Roy Williams (who hasn’t actually covered anyone in about five season), the Cowboys are finally getting started on some much needed house cleaning.

Unfortunately, no changes will be made at the top, where they’re most needed.


The Real World: Dallas Cowboys

Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinees Game Day Roundtable

The situation in Dallas is beginning to make sense.

It was announced this week that Michael Irvin is going to host a reality television show involving the Dallas Cowboys. Twelve wannabe football players will compete for a spot on the Dallas Cowboys’ opening eighty person training camp roster.

I finally understand why Jerry Jones brought Pacman Jones to Dallas. Why he continue to keep Terrell Owens. Why he won’t hire anyone who could lead their way out of a wet paper bag.

He wants there to be drama!

It’s all been a ploy to make the Cowboys franchise more attractive to Hollywood’s reality television producers. It’s a new revenue stream.

Brilliant!

Brian Stewart out as Cowboys Defensive Coordinator

NFL: DEC 07 Cowboys at Steelers

In a move that surprised few, the Dallas Cowboys fired Brian Stewart today. If Jerry Jones continues to follow the my-team-is-in-a-death-spiral playbook and lets Jason Garrett walk out the door, Wade Phillips is likely safe for at least one more season.

Stewart was far from one of the core problems at Dallas. His unit was eighth in total defense, and led the league in sacks. He was, however, quite publicly stripped of his play calling duties after the 34-14 loss to the Rams this season.

While the play calling by Wade Phillips did seem to improve the Cowboys defense, that all came crashing down in the Philadelphia Eagles game that ended the Cowboys’ season. I wonder how Phillips will deflect responsibility for that one.

The reality is that once Stewart lost his play-calling responsibilities, his days in Dallas were numbered. While he was still involved in the defensive scheming, he was coordinator in name only. I’m somewhat surprised he didn’t resign on his own after (or even during) the season.

Stewart is a solid assistant, and won’t be looking for work long. With a quality head coach, he may still turn out to be a good coordinator.

Jason Garrett to the St. Louis Rams?

Dallas Cowboys v Pittsburgh Steelers

Today’s Dallas Cowboys rumor is that it will be announced tomorrow (Saturday, January 17th) that Jason Garrett will be named the new head coach of the St. Louis Rams.

Much of the shine that Garrett had after last season has been tarnished. It would not surprise me if Jerry wasn’t as keen to keep him with the Cowboys as he was last season.

Some believe that the game has passed him by, but I don’t buy that. He’s clearly a solid X’s and O’s guy.

What he lacks, unfortunately, is any ability to lead. That was apparent this season, and has been confirmed as a prevalent opinion within the Cowboys locker room (by a first-hand source that is extremely close to the team).

One of the more interesting wrinkles is the idea that Garrett put a “me or T.O.” ultimatum to Jerry Jones.

This may or may not be true (I have no confirmed information either way), but it’s very possible that Jones would let Garrett walk, even if he plans to give T.O. the boot in the near future. It would be a great way to get out from under an expensive contract, that doesn’t look as attractive as it once did.

I can only hope that whatever the real story is here, Owens gets sent packing soon.

Update: The St. Louis Rams passed on Garrett and chose Steve Spagnuolo, formerly defensive coordinator of the New York Giants, as their new head coach.

T.O. May Be Done in Dallas

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles

The rumors and grumblings are growing within the Dallas Cowboys locker room that wide receiver Terrell Owens needs to be let go. I know I wouldn’t shed a tear if he were given his papers.

If this year proved anything, it’s how critical chemistry is to a professional team. Looking strictly at the talent level in Dallas, they should have made a run deep into the playoffs. Instead, the team never really came together as a unit, and they didn’t make the playoffs, finishing the season with a humiliating loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Some of the blame goes to a lack of leadership (e.g. Jerry Jones, Wade Phillips, Jason Garrett, and Tony Romo), but divisive elements like Owens only make the situation worse. T.O. is a drama queen who creates problems when there aren’t any, and makes small problems larger.

Don’t misunderstand, there’s nothing wrong with Owens’ talent or work ethic. The way he came back from injury to play in the Superbowl for the Eagles was nothing short of amazing.

The problem is his attitude. I think saying everything with T.O. is just about T.O. is an oversimplified explanation. He certainly wants to succeed and win, but something in his psyche keeps that from happening.

I’d hoped that things might be different in Dallas, but that was at best a fool’s paradise.

Apparently, owner Jerry Jones still supports T.O., but Stephen Jones (Cowboy’s VP and Jerry’s son) will try to convince him that T.O. needs to go.

The fans certainly won’t miss him. The boos when T.O. ran out during the Giants-Cowboys game last month were extremely loud, and only got louder each time he dropped a pass.

Pacman Jones done in Dallas

Houston Texans v Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys continued the process of cleaning house today, as Adam “Pacman” Jones was released. The only people that will miss his being in the Cowboys defensive backfield will be fans of the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Cowboys released Jones after learning of his being involved with yet another off-the-field incident, this one a shooting outside a suburban Atlanta strip club in June 2007. Apparently, Jones did not disclose this incident to management.

And while he didn’t even play that well when on the field for Dallas, it does show the lengths to which Jerry Jones will go to try and win.

It seems he’ll do anything but give someone competent day-to-day control of the Cowboys.

This is probably just the second in a line of personnel soon to be released by the Cowboys (special teams coach Bruce Read was let go last week). Other potential firings include:

  • Head coach Wade Phillips, although Jones denies this will happen
  • Either Terrell Owens or receiver Roy Williams (but probably not both)
  • Tank Johnson
  • Tony Romo should be let go, but I don’t think it will happen
  • Safety Roy Williams should also get his walking papers, as he hasn’t covered anyone in about three years.

Some of the shine is certainly off Jason Garrett, but I don’t think Jerry will dump him yet.

The next few weeks should be interesting…