Chat recap: Wondering about Jerry's role

March, 20, 2014
Mar 20
12:00
PM ET
IRVING, Texas -- We had a spirited chat Wednesday that you can check out here.

In it we discussed a lot of Dallas Cowboys subjects and even my Final Four pick, as well as:

One question stood out among the very good questions:

Jerry (Stuttgart Germany): Does Jerry Jones finally get it as a GM? He has been acting like one for almost 8 days now.

Todd Archer: It's been something of a change, hasn't it? The job is not over by any stretch. I applaud them for their fiscal responsibility but they need to find more players. And I also think we tend to over-dramatize Jerry's role as a GM. He's not a GM the way Howie Roseman is a GM. He's not pouring over tape to see players. He's a manager of the people who report to him and he makes the final call.

If I can go on in a little more detail here ...

Since the day he bought the team Jones has carried the general manager tag. There will always be a Jerry-Jimmy fight with those saying the success of the Cowboys in the 1990s was the sole responsibility of Jimmy Johnson. There can be no winner, so that debate often goes the same way as all the talk about Jerry the owner needing to fire Jerry the general manager. It's not happening.

Like I said, Jones is not a GM the way most guys who have that title are GMs. He is not going to pro days. He is not studying the third-team tackles in training camp.

But you do have to wonder if Stephen Jones is gaining more traction as the football voice with the Cowboys with how the team has operated this offseason. The Cowboys released DeMarcus Ware, which was a hugely difficult decision for Jerry Jones because of all that Ware has done for the team and for Jones. But it was the right call, considering the salary-cap implications had Ware stayed or if his contract had been restructured.

So far the Cowboys have spent efficiently in free agency, which is what Stephen Jones declared in February at the NFL scouting combine. The Melton deal is essentially a one-year deal for $3.5 million. Melton needs to do things he has never done in his career to get the total $1.5 million in incentives to max out his first-year money.

That's a good buy in free agency for a young player with a Pro Bowl to his credit even though he is coming back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

The other deals for Jeremy Mincey, Terrell McClain and Weeden have been economical as well.

I wonder if the days of the Cowboys signing free agents to a contract like Brandon Carr (five years, $50 million) are over. If they are, then you know Stephen Jones' influence has really grown.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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