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Friday, January 31, 2014
Jerry Jones' look in the mirror is too late

By Calvin Watkins

Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones told ESPN's Chris Mortensen that he needs to look in the mirror and evaluate his own job.

Jones isn't giving up the title of GM, but if he's just realizing he needs to see what he's doing, it's just too late for that.

"As for me, I've got to evaluate my own role -- I need to look at the man in the mirror and really be honest about why we keep coming up short," Jones said to Mortensen when the season ended.

Jerry Jones, Monte Kiffin
Owner Jerry Jones' decisions to keep coaches Monte Kiffin, right, and Bill Callahan have contributed to a turbulent offseason for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys are a mess.

Jones is part of the reason for this, from his inability to draft the right players (you can't tell me B.W. Webb is worthy of a draft pick, you just can't), to some of the bad contracts he has given that have hurt the franchise (look at Jay Ratliff and Miles Austin as examples), to of course, how he's handled coach Jason Garrett.

Jones said he's giving Garrett the power to do what he wants.

It's too late.

If Jones really wanted to give Garrett the power to do things, then give the man a contract extension. Jones has allowed Garrett to enter the final year of his contract with a win-or-else mantra.

If the Cowboys don't reach the playoffs, do you really expect Jones to bring Garrett back in 2015?

Of course not, and Garrett knows it.

The Cowboys have personnel issues and have a hard decision to make regarding one of their best players in DeMarcus Ware. Is Ware on the decline?

Jones needs to fire some coaches. There is no reason why Monte Kiffin should be coaching football for the Dallas Cowboys Football Club in 2014. This isn't anything against Kiffin, who was considered one of the best coaches in his prime.

But Kiffin has lost the fastball. It started in his last few years at Tampa Bay and continued when he was at USC. The scheme isn't the problem, because, well let's be honest, Chicago and Seattle use it and have the personnel to employ it well.

My problem with Kiffin is that Jones isn't holding him to the same standards he used with Rob Ryan. Was the former defensive coordinator perfect? Nope. His schemes were probably a little too complex for this personnel group. Like Kiffin, Ryan dealt with injuries and poor depth, that's Jones' fault for not getting the quality depth necessary to win in the NFL.

Jones is a wonderful owner, among the best in sports, but his GM skills are questionable.

As the owner, he decided to give Garrett one more chance to fix this mess. As the general manager, Jones said he needs to look in the mirror.

Jones elected to give Will McClay power to put the draft board together this spring. He's also giving Garrett power to put the coaching staff together. Yet, he won't let offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Bill Callahan leave for another gig.

If Garrett has all this 'power' then let Callahan go, because it's clear he's been demoted and doesn't want to be here.

Garrett said Callahan is a pro and will do the job and we believe him, but why put everybody on the coaching staff in an uncomfortable situation? Why keep a man who doesn't want to be here? The Cowboys will say because Callahan is a pro and he's among the best at his position.

This is a mess and the man who is looking in the mirror is to blame.