Jerry Jones will always be GM

Updated: November 7, 2012, 10:38 AM ET
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

Jerry Jones, the general manager, will never relinquish that title with the Dallas Cowboys. Much like Jerry Jones, the owner, will never sell the team.

During his twice-weekly radio show, Jones was asked whether he ever would step down as the general manager.

The answer was no way.

"We are not structured that way," Jones told KRLD-FM on Tuesday morning. "We didn't structure it that way with my ownership. There's no way that I would be involved here and not be the final decision-maker on something as important as players, and that is a key area. That's never been anybody's misunderstanding. It's been a debated thing, but it's just not going to happen."

Jones the general manager has a team that's 3-5 overall heading into a game at Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon.

Jones the owner and Jones the general manager have won three Super Bowls together.  But recently, the general manager has struggled.

The Cowboys have won just two playoff games since their last Super Bowl appearance, in the 1995 season when they beat Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XXX, and haven't drafted well on a consistent basis. Only five players remain from the 2009 and 2010 drafts combined.

The Cowboys are 123-124 since 1997.

The GM's tenure has been marred by questionable trades; three draft picks given to Detroit for wide receiver Roy Williams; a trade for cornerback Pacman Jones, who was suspended during the 2008 season; and various big-money contracts given to players including safety Ken Hamlin, running back Marion Barber, guard Marco Rivera and safety Roy Williams that didn't pan out.

There's no way that I would be involved here and not be the final decision-maker on something as important as players, and that is a key area.

-- Jerry Jones, in KRLD-FM interview

But Jones has made some good moves, including drafting inside linebackers Sean Lee and Bruce Carter in the second rounds of the 2010 and 2011 drafts and the first-round pick of cornerback Morris Claiborne last year. 

"We've had success doing it this way and we're going to have success in the future doing it this way," Jones said. "It eliminates some very serious issues when you look around the league, as to creating an additional layer that you're continually having decisions, making changes and doing those kinds of things."

Barry Switzer is the last coach to win a Super Bowl for Jones. After he was fired following the 1997 season, the Cowboys have hired five head coaches. Only Wade Phillips produced a playoff victory, a NFC wild-card win over the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009.

Jones also cleared up a comment he made during an interview on NBC in which he said he would fire himself as GM given the Cowboys' record the last few years.

"It's real clear," Jones said. "I was asked the question, 'If you were an owner and you had a general manager, would you make a change?' Under those circumstances, I speculated that I would probably have made a change, but that's not our situation.

"To change, I'd have to change myself. People don't do that. If you've got the commitment and you have the investment, and I'm talking about in time, effort, all of those kinds of things, you change yourself. You don't change out and have someone else go in there and do it."

Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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