Commentary

It's time to fire the man in the mirror

Dallas Cowboys' delusion starts with Jerry Jones, who isn't doing job as GM, owner

Updated: November 6, 2012, 11:11 AM ET
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com

ATLANTA -- Jerry Jones would fire himself if he were somebody else.

That makes perfect sense if you view it through the prism of nonsensical Jerry logic.

Jerry Jones
Ron Jenkins/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT/Getty ImagesWant proof that Jerry Jones isn't about to relinquish his role as GM? "I think that I know how our organization runs and I know the best way to make decisions for us," Jerry said. "And that's the best way."

Jerry isn't so delusional that he believes he's done a good job as the general manager over the last decade and a half. He knows that his Dallas Cowboys are two games below .500 this season, and since the start of the 1997 season. He's well-aware that there isn't another GM in sports who could survive a span so long that featured one playoff win and six head coaches.

But Jerry doesn't just want to win. He wants to get the lion's share of the glory.

That's why he'll never, ever consider putting his ego aside for the best interests of the franchise by giving up the GM duties.

By Jerry standards, he made that perfectly clear in his pregame interview on NBC, when he essentially acknowledged that he would have fired any other GM by now.

Just don't think for a split second that means that Jerry would seriously consider canning himself.

So what if any other GM would have been looking for work several years ago?

"Yeah, but he doesn't own the team," Jones said following the Cowboys' 19-13 loss Sunday night to the Atlanta Falcons. "So I'm just saying what I really meant was one of the things you do if you've got a GM that in this particular case that owns the team, you go in and work on the mirror."

A reasonable, honest man would stare in the mirror and see someone not fit to make the personnel decisions for an NFL franchise.

Indisputable evidence over the past 15 years makes that case. But Jerry uses those three Lombardi Trophies as mirrors, rationalizing that his way has been proven as the right way. (Never mind that Jimmy Johnson insists that his right to make all the personnel decisions was written into his contract.)

"When I bought the team, the night I bought it, I said I would be doing what I'm doing," Jerry said, justifying in his mind why he'll be the GM until his final breath. "And that's GM the team and make the final decision on all personnel. That's the way it's always been done.

"We won three Super Bowls doing that, and so I want to do it again."

OK, Jerry, but you've won a grand total of one playoff game in the last 15 years.

At what point do you wonder whether it's really in the franchise's best interests to continue being the lone owner/GM in the NFL?

The short answer: never.

"I think that I know how our organization runs and I know the best way to make decisions for us," Jerry said. "And that's the best way. I know that's what motivates me as an owner and causes me to me to basically do the best job that I can."

The best job Jerry can do as GM -- a role he finds time for when he isn't scheduling events in his stadium, negotiating network TV contracts, marketing the Cowboys and selling lingerie -- just isn't good enough.

But you'll never get Jerry to admit that. Heck, he's still trying to convince folks he's constructed a roster capable of contending for a Super Bowl title this season.

Never mind that his mistakes had their fingerprints all over this loss, the Cowboys' ninth in their last 13 games.

His $54 million receiver, Miles Austin, who got paid elite money off one great year when the Cowboys had him under control as a restricted free agent, dropped a pass that might have made the difference.

His $27 million reserve cornerback, Orlando Scandrick, who got a contract extension when he had a year left on his rookie deal, twice erred to extend the Falcons' final scoring drive. He whiffed on running back Jacquizz Rodgers on one third down and got called for defensive holding on another.

His $22 million safety, Gerald Sensabaugh, got blocked at the point of attack on Michael Turner's 43-yard run that set up a touchdown and juked out of his jock on Julio Jones' 48-yard catch-and-run that set up a field goal.

His two new guards, who cost a combined $30 million, couldn't create any holes in the running game or protect Tony Romo in the passing game.

And let's not even discuss the 2009 draft, which is the primary reason the Cowboys have such precious little depth.

The biggest problem with Jerry as the GM isn't even personnel. It's the dysfunctional tone that the twisted organizational flowchart sets for a franchise.

You wonder why players on the Cowboys have such a sense of self-entitlement? It starts at the top.

It's been said many times that Jerry is a great owner but a bad GM. That's bull.

A great owner wouldn't continue employing such an inept GM.

A great owner would place the best interests of the franchise higher than his ego on his priority list.

Jerry would rather keep chasing the "glory hole" he talked about at the beginning of training camp than get out of the way and give the Cowboys a real chance to get back on the right track.

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