Feeling the heat

Who's under the most pressure?

  •  
    23%
  •  
    4%
  •  
    4%
  •  
    24%
  •  
    45%

(Total votes: 3,995)

JERRY JONES
MARK CUBAN

Pressure on Jerry can't be matched

Watkins By Calvin Watkins
ESPNDallas.com
Archive

The pressure on Jerry Jones to win a championship is greater than any other sports owner in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

The men who own the Texas Rangers have been to the World Series twice, but the pressure, while high, can't match what the Cowboys face.

Mavs owner Mark Cuban has been to the NBA Finals twice and has one championship.

Tom Gaglardi, the new owner of the Stars, needs to worry about just getting into the Stanley Cup playoffs and forget about trying to win a title -- at least for right now.

No, the pressure is on Jones, the Dallas Cowboys' owner who produced three titles with Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer.

Jones' objective is to win a title outside of Johnson's shadow. Switzer won Jones' third title with the men Johnson drafted. Jones has been searching for a title ever since.

When Cowboys Stadium was announced as the site for Super Bowl XLV, Jones dreamed his franchise would become the first to host the Super Bowl in its own stadium. All Jones could do was watch as traditional powers Green Bay and Pittsburgh played in the Super Bowl on the billion-dollar field he helped build.

This summer, Jones talked about the window closing on this current Cowboys team's chances to win a Super Bowl. Core players DeMarcus Ware, Tony Romo, Jason Witten and Jay Ratliff are getting older. Jones knows the shelf life of running backs is short in the NFL; he has observed his starting wide receivers battle leg injuries; and he has made numerous changes to a fluid offensive line over the years.

Jones sees the talent on his team and feels it can win now. He likes the head coach, the personnel and the overall direction of the franchise. This isn't about high television ratings or whether you can get 90,000 fans into Cowboys Stadium for nearly every home game. Jones wants to win a Super Bowl.

That's his goal. That's his obsession.

Until he gets another one, the pressure will continue to mount.

Cuban broiling after missing D-Will

Caplan By Jeff Caplan
ESPNDallas.com
Archive

Mark Cuban, meet the pressure cooker.

The temperature is turned up on the Dallas Mavericks' owner like never before since he took over the team in 2000 and guided it out of the dark days of the 1990s with big bucks, a circus act and a 7-foot cat from Germany.

But Tuesday's events made sure that Cuban will feel the heat from fans and media nationwide. Deron Williams, the homegrown All-Star point guard, was the free-agent target to lead the franchise through Dirk Nowitzki's latter years and beyond. Only one problem: The big fish opted to play for the Brooklyn Nets instead, and the Mavs were left holding a big bag of cash and no star to spend it on.

The owner strategically dismantled the only team in franchise history to win it all because he believed the new collective bargaining agreement, which stiffened luxury-tax penalties to the point of serving as a pseudo hard cap, demanded that he change his big-spending ways and restructure his payroll to create cap space to chase free agents.

Out the door went the team's heart and soul in fiery leader Tyson Chandler. Out the door went spunky point guard J.J. Barea. Now the Mavs are scrambling to field a team around Nowitzki that will have a fighting chance to just make the playoffs.

The free fall from champion to also-ran in 13 months could go down as one of the hastiest collapses in sports, and it has the Mavs moving from a downtown parade to irrelevancy.

So, yeah, Mr. Cuban is under fire.

To make such a statement about Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones is laughable.

Jones isn't under any more pressure today than when Jimmy Johnson won him those three Super Bowls he hopes you still like.

The Cowboys' brand -- through one playoff win in, what, 15 years (I lose count) -- is stronger than ever. Jones' steel-and-glass palace in Arlington is the real star of the show, packing in world-record crowds for whichever sports drops in.

Jones is loving life. If the Boys go 8-8 again, so what? Every network is still dying to put them on TV. And if the Cowboys get lucky and actually win a playoff game or two, Jones will be hailed as a lovable genius once more.

So let's get real. While Cuban is in the pressure cooker, Jones, held accountable by no one, continues to operate comfortably from a feather bed.