By Ron Morgan
The one saying of Bill Parcells during his tenure with the Cowboys that I always remember is, “You are what you are.” In other words, if the Cowboys have an 8-8 record, then they are a .500 team. They’re not a Super Bowl team that had some tough breaks. They are an 8-8 team.
I’m sure you’ve also heard, “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.” Or “You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken poop.” I’ll take the concept one step further and say that people don’t change. They are what they are.
How many teams draft a player of questionable character with loads of talent thinking they can change that player? Think Aaron Hernandez or Randy Moss. How many women marry the hunky low life thinking they can turn him into a gentleman and a faithful husband? I’m sorry. It doesn’t happen. Just ask one of the former Mrs. Newt Gingrichs.
For the past 17 years, we have been waiting for Jerry Jones to change. We’ve been dreaming of the day that he will allow someone else to make the personnel decisions for the Cowboys. Don’t get me wrong. I love Jerry Jones. Jerry is a marketing genius. How many other owners could take a team with one playoff win in 17 years and make it the second most valuable pro franchise in the country?
I just wish that he would stick to promoting the “House That Jerry Built,” American’s Team and its merchandise and let someone else run the football team. But, Jerry is what he is. He thinks he’s a football man, and no reaching to draft a Quincy Carter will convince him otherwise.
We’re looking at a .500 program since 1996. The only team in the NFC more futile than Dallas during that time frame is Detroit. The Lions have 0 playoff wins for going on two decades. On the bright side, at least someone is underneath us. We’re not America’s Doormat.
Over the past three drafts, Jerry has dug up some gems in Sean Lee, Demarco Murray, Tyron Smith, Dez and others. He loves the home run ball in the draft. He also falls in love with his own players. Sometimes he overrates what is on hand. In this year’s draft he overlooked the defensive line. He passed over a defensive tackle that was the #5 prospect on their board. Jerry liked the numbers he had on the defensive line.
Demarcus Ware is coming off of shoulder surgery, Anthony Spencer is having knee surgery right now, Josh Brent is being fitted for an orange jump suit (size XXXL), Jay Ratliff is hurt AGAIN, and Tyrone Crawford is out for the season. Just where are those numbers? Because Jerry “the football man” liked the numbers at draft time, they are scouring those cut by other teams. Does that sound like a formula for success?
Success on both sides of the ball begins up front. Aside from an occasional crumb, Jerry looks for star power. He likes a little flash with his picks — 300-pound linemen don’t provide much flash. So, we keep looking at the definition of mediocrity. In fact, without Tony Romo, we wouldn’t get up to the mediocre level. Last year had to be the worst offensive line in Cowboy history. When you figure up all the pre-snap penalties, the sacks and the times Tony was running for his life, 8-8 looks better than they deserved.
However, don’t blame Jerry. He is what he is. We are to blame. Jerry World is filled to capacity every Sunday that the Cowboys play there. Everywhere you look people are buying blue and silver jerseys. Jerry the money changer (as opposed to Jerry the “football guy”) is winning. He sees no reason to change even if he could.
It’s like New York City. If they elect Anthony Weiner as mayor and Elliott Spitzer as comptroller, they will get what they deserve. There is already evidence that Weiner (a.k.a. Carlos Danger) hasn’t changed. If they elect him as mayor, and if we let Jerry think we’ll keep filling his seats, then those in the Big Apple and those of us around Big D will have to watch out for the E Coli in our chicken salad. And don’t even think about a silk purse.