Jerry gets it: Glitzy team is football broke

Keeping Up With Mr. Jones

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones discusses a wide range of topics from not drafting Johnny Manziel to his thoughts on how he has performed as general manager and his feelings about former coach Jimmy Johnson.

ARLINGTON, Texas -- There are typically two sure things when Jerry Jones delivers his speech at the Dallas Cowboys' annual kickoff luncheon.

He’ll puff out his chest and pump up his team. And he’ll make at least one confusing comment or reference that causes a lot of head-scratching in the audience.

Well, Jerry went 1-for-2 on Wednesday. He certainly didn’t make any bold predictions for this season, stressing how the Cowboys are facing an “uphill battle” with “our backs against the wall.” Those comments were clear as could be. His reference to an old Ray Charles song, um, really wasn’t.

“It basically said without the music and without his great voice was, how do you get if them that gets is them that’s got?” Jones said.

Huh? What the heck does that mean? Well, it makes perfect sense when you read or listen to the lyrics of “Them That Got.”

Jerry, the proud owner of a glitzy, glamorous franchise recently valued by Forbes at $3.2 billion, is basically saying that the Cowboys are football broke. He’s absolutely right, and the contradiction between the state of the Cowboys financially vs. on the football field pretty much sums up Jerry in a nutshell.

He’s among the best, if not the best, of the businessmen in the NFL. He's among the worst, if not the worst, of the general managers in the NFL.

Owner Jerry has done a remarkable job maximizing the marketing potential of the America’s Team history. The man just landed a multimillion-dollar deal from a swanky Swiss watchmaker whose head honcho wouldn’t know a touchdown from a fourth down because the Cowboys are the most recognizable brand in American sports. The combination of those five Super Bowls from so long ago and Jerry’s business savvy made building a $1.2 billion football palace possible, and prompted suburban Frisco to pay $115 million for the right to build the Cowboys a state-of-the-art practice facility. The brand is the biggest reason the Cowboys consistently produce big TV ratings.

But none of that will help GM Jerry’s flawed team end a four-year playoff drought or win a playoff game for only the second time since The Triplets’ time. Not with a defense whose rebuilding process isn’t any further along than the new practice facility, which just had a groundbreaking ceremony last week.

The good news is Jerry seems to get this, finally. The good ol’ days can’t help the Cowboys win in this decade.

As Ray Charles would say, this crop of Cowboys ain’t got nothin’ yet. On the field, the Cowboys haven’t been one of them that got for years.

The question is, now that Jerry’s clear about that, what will he do to change his franchise’s football fate?