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Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Updated: January 10, 12:35 PM ET
Jerry Jones ignoring the real issue

By Tim MacMahon
ESPNDallas.com

The more things change at Valley Ranch, the more they stay the same.

Jerry Jones sure has followed through on his vow to make folks out there uncomfortable. Running backs coach Skip Peete and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan already have been kicked to the curb -- or beach, in Ryan's case. Ryan's guys have been told to go ahead and interview for other gigs in case whoever is hired as defensive coordinator doesn't want to keep them. The offensive assistants can't feel too secure, either, with Jerry on a postseason power trip.

Jerry Jones, Rob Ryan
Jerry Jones and the Cowboys said goodbye to Rob Ryan, but for some reason the GM is still employed.

Head coach Jason Garrett, who might or might not still have a say on who makes up his staff, might get his play-calling duties revoked. His opinion doesn't seem to carry much weight in the matter, at least not as much as what Jerry hears from his good-ol'-boy advisory committee of outsiders. The process of turning a man with a spine into a Jerry puppet apparently takes two seasons without a playoff bid.

Garrett will definitely head into his third training camp "in charge" -- and quotes are necessary there now -- with the hottest seat in the NFL.

Too bad someone can't turn up the heat in the general manager's office.

The fact that Jerry Jones won't even consider stepping down as general manager makes him the NFL's biggest hypocrite.

Dadgummit, Jerry ain't standing for a couple of 8-8 seasons! Time for some drastic changes! Almost everything is on the table!

Well, except for the one constant from the Cowboys' 128-128 stretch.

Jones I think that I know how our organization runs and I know the best way to make decisions for us.

-- Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones

Hmm, let's see, six head coaches, dozens of assistants, hundreds of players, one general manager and one playoff win over 16 seasons. Gee whiz, can anyone figure out the primary reason America's Team is a mediocre mess?!

All this shuffling at Valley Ranch is like treating a rash without dealing with the cause of the allergic reaction.

Of course, we can holler about the obvious until we're hoarse. It doesn't matter because Jerry is way too stubborn and arrogant to change his mind.

Yeah, Jerry desperately wants to win. As long as he gets the lion's share of the credit.

His ego takes priority over giving the Cowboys the best chance to succeed.

Jerry is incapable of being brutally honest with himself when it comes to his ability to build a football team, which ranks a little above selling panties and starring in pizza commercials among his many professional responsibilities. Or he's simply too selfish to cede control.

In a rare moment of self-esteem weakness during a midseason interview on NBC, Jerry even admitted he would have fired his GM at some point in the past decade and a half if he didn't see that man in the mirror every day. That's an incredibly ridiculous comment that makes perfect sense when viewed through the prism of someone who bought the Cowboys to become famous and is hell-bent on proving he isn't a football fool despite almost two decades of post-dynasty evidence.

"When I bought the team, the night I bought it, I said I would be doing what I'm doing," Jerry said after a midseason loss to the Atlanta Falcons, and hours after that interview aired, 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."

Never mind that Jimmy Johnson made the football decisions during the days that Dallas' '90s dynasty was being built, which Jerry's original coach proudly and loudly pointed out after those comments were made.

Those three Super Bowls sure were swell, but there are a bunch of kids old enough to drive who have witnessed a grand total of one playoff win for the Cowboys.

Pointing that out to Jerry causes the GM to grit his teeth, which criticism doesn't often cause from a man who has armadillo shell for skin.

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

Jerry's performance in that job guarantees the Valley Ranch revolving door will keep spinning for years to come.