JOHN GRANATO

As long as Jerry Jones is around, Cowboys are a train wreck

Jerry Jones continues to be Jerry Jones. Rob Carr

Texans owner Bob McNair had a rough offseason. Seemed like every time he opened his mouth he got into hot water. The “inmates running the prison” was his crowning achievement. It cost him any chance of getting that statue of him erected.

After an 0-3 start there was plenty of talk about another lost season and where ultimately that blame should fall: into the lap of Bob McNair.

The team has turned its fortunes around but are they elite? No. Do we believe that this team can be special and win at the highest level? There really is no reason to think so.

But there is one thing we can thank Bob McNair for:

He’s not Jerry Jones.

While I wanted to see the Titans lose to the Cowboys Monday night so the Texans could extend their lead in the division, it was so much more fun watching Jerry squirm in his owner’s box while his sons kept their scowls for the cameras properly intact.

It was quite the night.

Another loss and another multi-turnover game for Dak Prescott.  But since then Jerry has given him the ultimate vote of confidence saying that Dak will get a contract extension.

Thank you Lord. Thank you for giving us Jerry Jones. He is the gift that keeps on giving.

What about Dak’s play gives you any indication that he deserves that kind of vote of confidence?

Through nine weeks Dak is the 24th rated QB in the league. He’s 26th in yards per attempt, 29th in yards per game. He’s tied for 22nd with 10 touchdown passes. He hasn’t thrown for 300 yards in a game this season. After a fantastic rookie season, he and the team have regressed in every meaningful way.

Also getting a reprieve after yet another loss was head coach Jason Garrett. He will not be fired during the season. And why should he? In his ninth year as the Cowboys head coach he has 69 wins and 58 losses. He’s been to the playoffs twice with one win in his eight full seasons to show for it. One. How could you possibly let him slip away?

On Tuesday Troy Aikman finally said what we have all been thinking for a long time. There needs to be a complete overhaul in the organization. It couldn’t have been easy for him to say that. He and Jerry Jones go back a long way. They won championships together. He stopped short of calling for Jerry to sell the team but he did use the word dysfunction and called for them to address how everything is done.

Good luck Troy. That is probably falling on deaf ears. Running the team is far more important to Jerry than winning. He proved that when he pushed Jimmy Johnson out the door. Jimmy took too much of the credit for those championships. Jerry’s ego couldn’t let that happen.

When asked by ESPN why he wouldn’t hire a real general manager Jerry said that he wouldn’t write the check for any player the G.M. chose unless he knew everything about him first. Why have a middle man?

Sound thinking there except for one small issue. What if you’re not any good at choosing and evaluating players?

There was a time when it looked like Jerry had turned a corner. It was the 2014 draft. With Johnny Manziel and all his star power in the state of Texas on the board and the Cowboys holding the 16th pick, Jerry’s son Stephen talked Jerry off the Johnny train and instead took guard Zack Martin out of Notre Dame. He was the third first-round offensive lineman the Cowboys had chosen in four years.

It shook me to think that Jerry had actually made a sensible and intelligent pick instead of that shiny new money making toy he could have paraded out at AT&T Stadium every week.

I don’t want to live in a world where Jerry Jones makes smart draft picks. I just don’t. But he did. Martin has gone on to become a perennial Pro Bowler while Johnny is toiling in anonymity in Canada.

But getting your first round pick right a few times does not make you a successful G.M. (see Rick Smith) and Jerry and Stephen Jones have been anything but successful G.M.’s. I say both because Stephen is the G.M. in name only. It’s been a collaboration, a collaboration of futility.

Next year they don’t have a first rounder because they gave that up for WR Amari Cooper. Then Golden Tate went for a third rounder and Demaryius Thomas for a fourth. Keep doing you Jerry. Keep doing you.

But nothing will change. It hasn’t for two decades. What other G.M. could possibly keep his job with just two playoff wins in 20 years? None.

After yet another dismal season Jason Garrett will probably be the scapegoat but maybe not. He’s been teflon, probably because he won’t challenge Jerry’s authority or celebrity. Can’t have a successful coach taking away some of the spotlight. That is unacceptable in Big D.

It may sound like I disapprove of all of this. I apologize if that’s what you’ve gleaned from this article. Be assured that I totally approve of the way Jerry is going about running the Cowboys.

My two favorite teams are the Texans and whoever is playing the Cowboys.

It’s not about the Cowboys per se. It’s more about their fans. Somehow someway they remain insufferable even through all this futility and incompetence. Twenty years ago when they were good it was unbearable.

Not to worry though Texan fan. The Cowboys won’t be good again for the foreseeable future. Not on Jerry’s watch.


 

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Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and blogger. Check out her new blog, HTown Run Tourist. Follow her on Twitter @jovanabernathy. Instagram @HTownRunTourist. Facebook @jovanabernathy. Join her facebook group: H-Town Run Tourist

Six years ago, I got this great idea to become a tourist of Houston on foot. I had no idea what I was doing or where it was going. All I knew was to put on my running shoes, walk out the door, and just go. Go learn, go talk, go ask without judgements. What I found is that Houston was full of diversity. We all knew that. However, let yourself be immersed in it. Look and listen to the sounds of different languages being spoken around you. Smell the scents of the different cuisines. You would think you were in a foreign country. This made me more curious.

As I explored the emotion of curiosity, it led me to change my behavior. Where I might have rushed to this place and to the next, I took it slower. Where, usually, I would have just assumed that I already knew, I found myself asking more questions. When I asked more questions, I had to acknowledge that I did not already know, so I practiced listening. As I listened more, I felt compelled to show more appreciation to the person who interrupted their busy day to educate me. This made me feel grateful.

I took that gratitude and wanted to share with others. It blew my mind when people would say that they hated Houston. It was boring. The people are mean and it was ugly. And even more shocking was Houston is not walkable. Instead of getting offended, I decided to do my part in brightening up the day of the Houstonians who were stuck in a rut. Who saw and did the same things day after day. I didn't judge because I knew they could get out of that rut by simply deciding that today they do something different. I braced myself for rejection, but put myself out there to share the wonderful things that I had learned about Houston. Given the chance, the vast majority, was ready to learn a different way. This made me proud.

It is true that 2020 has been full of disasters. These are opportunities if we choose to see them that way. If anything that COVID-19 taught me the answer was not MORE, but it is LESS. We have the tendency to take on too much, we had the unique opportunity to take on less. Thus, instead of going to exhaustion, we had the opportunity to rest.

Then, the tragedy of the death of Houston's own George Floyd happened. It could not have happened at a worse time. My heart goes out to his family. Some might use it as an opportunity to work out their own frustrations by causing more problems with violence and looting. My hope is that whatever happens will be an expression of appropriate sadness, but with Houston's best attributes; curiosity, gratitude, and pride. Instead of LESS it is time for MORE. MORE curiosity. To see if Houston's law enforcement cares about the well-being of Houston's black community and make changes in protocols. MORE gratitude. For the opportunity to express the frustration in a peaceful way. MORE pride. To not destroy this city and give it over to violence possibly doing more damage to the economics of business owners. We can see this as the opportunity to take time to heal.

Houston has changed. As I restart my exploration, I'm not looking for LESS. I'm looking for MORE this time. I'm looking with MORE curiosity. Because I know that we have even MORE to show each other. I'm looking with MORE gratitude because we have endured so much already and there are better times ahead. And, I'm looking with MORE pride because just as we did it before, we still have it in us to do it again. I have one request: if you see me in the streets, promise me that you will say hello.

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