Jerry Jones hears the boos

April, 7, 2014
4/07/14
11:00
AM ET
On Saturday night, Jerry Jones was shown on the big board at AT&T Stadium during the Final Four.

A good majority of fans booed the Cowboys owner.

I would say this is misplaced anger.

The Final Four isn’t the time to boo the man who helped bring a major sporting event to North Texas. Jones is a lot of things, from best owner in sports, below average general manager, good guy, whatever, but you can’t say he doesn’t deliver for North Texas.

Jones hasn’t delivered in quite some time around here.

His football team last won a Super Bowl in the 1990s. There are generations of fans growing up in North Texas who don’t know what Dallas/Fort Worth is like when the pro football team is winning.

Life in North Texas is just different when the Cowboys are winning. This isn’t anything personal against the Mavericks or Rangers, who reached the title games of their respective sports, but if the Cowboys are winning titles, fans are smiling a little more.

Jones understands this better than anybody and his plans to fix the Cowboys have been disjointed over the years.

He’s made change for the point of change, when in reality he should have left things alone.

Many fans and media members said Jones should have fired Wade Phillips after the 2008 season. Jones stuck with Phillips and eventually gave him a contract extension after an NFC East title was won. The Cowboys, incidentally, won a playoff game, the last one in the franchise’s history.

But I remember something Jones said after the Cowboys lost to Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings in the playoffs that season: He didn’t realize how far away his team was from the elites of the NFL.

The next season, the Cowboys missed the playoffs and haven’t been back since. The window for winning championships is small in the NFL and maybe Jones, without realizing it, has seen the window close on his franchise.

Jason Garrett was at the NFL owners meetings two weeks ago talking about needing a younger team. DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher are not in their late 30s. Each player is 31. The Cowboys let both hit the free-agent market to sign with other teams.

By getting younger, maybe the Cowboys are trying to reopen a window to a title run.

Jones said his team isn’t rebuilding. Just retooling.

Jones, despite the boos from the fans, is trying to reopen a window to a championship that has been closed shut.

And maybe one day, when Jones is shown on the big board at AT&T Stadium, he’ll hear some cheers.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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