NFC East: Joe Juraszek
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
Former Cowboys defensive end and current ESPN analyst Marcellus Wiley has come up with an interesting theory. He took a look at the Cowboys' playoff drought dating back to 1996 and decided that the one common denominator was strength and conditioning coach Joe Juraszek. Marcellus, who only played in Dallas for one season, said he "personally loves" Juraszek, but it's tough to tell after reading the following quotes:
"The strength and conditioning coach is in charge of filling up your tank, getting you in shape and also keeping you at a great level of physical conditioning so that you can make it through the tough part of the season which is December and January," said Wiley on "NFL Live." "It's not about coaching. It's not about T.O. It's not about Romo. It's about the atrophy of these muscles and the conditioning of this team."
Wiley said he "uncovered the fact that there has been one guy in the building other than Jerry Jones that has been there since all these playoff troubles and it was the strength and conditioning coach ..."
Sorry, but I'm not buying this one. I've been around this organization for seven years and I've never heard a player question Juraszek's approach. In fact, he's been known to call players at all hours to make sure they're sticking with their diets. Even when players are off, he's on call to meet them for workouts at the facility. I know at least one member of the Cowboys' medical staff who was completely floored by Wiley's statement and was in the process of tracking him down. Juraszek has emerged as one of the most respected strength and conditioning coaches in the league. And Bill Parcells, a man who has a lot of thoughts on how players should condition themselves, was a huge fan of his.
I can point to several reasons for the Cowboys lack of playoff success (the search for Troy Aikman's replacement, poor drafts, poor coaching, etc.), but Juraszek is the last guy I'd point the finger at.