Why Jerry Jones should never go onto the field to talk to his head coach during a game
BRANDON GEORGE Staff writer
Dallas Morning News
There should never be a reason for Jones to go onto the field during a game and talk to the Cowboys’ head coach.
For Jones to show up on the sideline as the game is being played just feeds into the belief that Garrett has little control.
Jones said he wanted to update Garrett on the score of the Giants-Jets game and – more importantly – inform him that it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to put quarterback Tony Romo back into a meaningless game with a swollen right hand.
“That’s Jason’s decision,” Jones said Monday on KTCK-AM 1310, “but he doesn’t need to be making that one by himself.”
So, the Cowboys’ Princeton-educated coach can’t make the seemingly easy decision himself of not putting his injured quarterback back into a game that has no bearing on the NFC East title race?
If Jones can’t trust that Garrett can make that decision alone, how can he trust him to find the locker room at Cowboys Stadium?
We all know that Jones wears the pants in the Cowboys’ family – that’s to be expected considering he’s the owner and the general manager – but he doesn’t need to make his head coach appear incompetent. Jones could have just as easily called down to the field on a telephone or jumped on a coach’s headset from the booth to inform Garrett of his thinking.
Garrett said Monday that “it’s not a big issue to me at all” that Jones came onto the field to talk to him during the game. But what is Garrett supposed to say to the world? “I really wish my boss wouldn’t embarrass me by coming onto the field during a game.”
No, that would make the situation worse.
Garrett handled a similar situation earlier in the season with Jones questioning his play-calling on a radio interview with as much class as he did Monday.
Trust that this won’t be the last time that Garrett has to keep his chin held high when dealing with how his boss handles a situation in a much different way than any other owner in the NFL.
Jones, who said Monday that he makes the “final call” on all personnel decisions, said that he doesn’t plan on retiring or hiring a general manager anytime soon.
“Anybody who has got any sense knows that I didn’t get here alone. I got here with a lot of very smart people and listening to those very smart people and I do that,” Jones said. “We don’t have to take a step back. What we need to do is win. And we need to win this way and a lot of other things then go away. You didn’t see that kind of criticism very early on, but we were winning Super Bowls.”
That was 16 years ago, Jerry. Since then the Cowboys have two playoff victories. Maybe it’s just me, but maybe it’s time to try a different approach.
Q: If Jerry Jones says he doesn’t see himself retiring or stepping down as general manager anytime soon, how many more years will we remain a very mediocre team because of his ineptitude?
Jim Dornan, Washington, D.C.
GEORGE: Unfortunately for long-suffering Cowboys’ fans, the franchise’s future might be more of the same as long as Jerry Jones keeps his current decision-making system in place. Jones says he has always listened to the smart people around him, but in the end, Jerry’s going to do it his way. And just like in any business model, what worked in 1995 (the team’s last Super Bowl) doesn’t necessarily work in 2011.
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Q: I’ve been watching linebacker DeMarcus Ware get triple-teamed and no one else getting any consistent pass-rush. Linebacker Anthony Spencer was supposed to be that player and isn’t. Yes, they have needs elsewhere, but none will benefit this team as much as getting another good pass rusher. It’s a little early for a draft/free agent question, but your thoughts?
Leigh Buchalter, Plantation, Fla.
GEORGE: Certainly, the Cowboys would benefit by another great pass rusher opposite of Ware, but great pass rushers aren’t easy to find. Spencer has played better this season than last year but will be a free agent. The Cowboys could re-sign Spencer if the price is right but may decide to pour that money into another pass rusher with more of an upside. I would argue that the Cowboys need more help in the secondary, at linebacker and in the offensive line than another pass rusher.
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Q: Do you feel like it’s a lock on Jason Garrett coming back as Cowboys head coach?
Dennis Wallace, Albuquerque, N.M.
GEORGE: Yes, without a doubt. Say what you want to about this year’s Cowboys, but Garrett has put them in a position to win the NFC East in the final game of the regular season. That’s all the Cowboys could ask for considering they began a rebuilding project – no matter what Jerry Jones will tell you – before the season started by releasing several offensive players and going young in their offensive line. This is Garrett’s first full season as the coach, and there’s no need to rush to judgment yet on his future. The Cowboys will give him more time to establish himself and get the franchise back on track – as Jones likes to say – “relative to” playoff wins.
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Q: When is a player going to stand up and say enough is enough and get fired up to play? There is no intensity on this team, especially with the defense.
Juan Pena, Dallas
GEORGE: I wouldn’t say that there is no intensity from the Cowboys’ players at game time. The Cowboys have intense players, such as nose tackle Jay Ratliff, linebacker Keith Brooking and wide receiver Dez Bryant. But intensity only gets you so far. In the end, precision, execution and talent usually win out in football. The Cowboys’ execution has been very poor at times this season, and you might question their mental toughness more than their intensity. The bottom line is the Cowboys have to be more consistent in several phases. Otherwise, more seasons with 8-8 records will await them.