I’m a life-long Dallas Cowboys fan. Nineteen years ago, the Dallas Cowboys were beginning another Super Bowl championship season, which was to be their fifth. They haven’t been back since. That’s the longest Super Bowl drought in the Cowboys’ storied history. In light of that, I have five major questions I’d like to ask Cowboys’ Owner, President and General Manager, Jerry Jones.
I know the Cowboys were on the verge of the playoffs going into the final game of the season in each of the last three years, but the Cowboys of old had the playoffs locked up with weeks left in the season. In the good ole days, Cowboy fans weren’t wondering if their team would make the playoffs. They were wondering if their team would win the Super Bowl. If we’re now thinking that “close” is an accomplishment, my point is proven. Something needs to change.
Jerry Jones is a man who has made many good decisions. Mostly, he has made many good business decisions. When it comes to football, one decision stands out. That is the hiring of Jimmy Johnson. That one decision, more than any other, contributed to three Super Bowl championships. Yes, I know that Barry Switzer was there for the third one, and that is to his credit, bet we all know that it was still Jimmy’s team. When Jimmy left, the Super Bowl drought was only a matter of time. Since hiring Johnson, Jones has made many decisions, but none have come close to repeating that success. Bill Parcels was a good one, to Jones’ credit, but history doesn’t lie. It’s time for a change.
So if I could talk to Mr. Jones, here is what I would ask him:
Question 1: If you really want another Super Bowl championship more than anything else, why not narrow your focus so that you can obtain that goal? To your credit, the Dallas Cowboys are a rare franchise. No sports franchise anywhere has a stadium, or should I say, event center that compares to that of the Cowboys. No sports franchise is worth more than the Cowboys. The Cowboys are recognized worldwide. Everyone knows the star, the cheerleaders, the glamour and so on, but none of those things win Super Bowl championships. Isn’t it time for a new approach? No other NFL team can say their owner is the GM. Maybe there’s a reason for that. I know you’ve been asked this already, but why not share the responsibility with someone whose only concern is being the General Manager? This would allow you to focus on the special events, the glamour, the new facilities and all the other things that don’t produce Super Bowl championships. I’m sure all of those things demand much of your attention, and you’ve made them worthy business ventures. They just don’t win Super Bowl championships.
Question 2: At what point do you decide it’s not working? You purchased the Cowboys when they were at rock bottom. They finished 3-13 the previous season. Even then, however, they were on a run of only eleven years without a Super Bowl championship. The current Cowboys are on a run of eighteen years. Eighteen Years! Even in years when it seems as if the Cowboys have a chance to make a run, a few unbelievably bad games destroy the season, and Cowboy fans are forced to say, “Maybe next year.” After eighteen years of saying, “Maybe next year,” I and a host of other Cowboy fans are saying, “It’s not working.”
Question 3: Do you ever take advice from outside of the organization? We all know, and I say this respectfully, that sometimes a man can’t see the forest for the trees. It can happen to any of us. Being willing to listen to the advice of a respected friend can be our saving grace.
Question 4: How long would you give a business venture to succeed before pulling the plug? If it were merely breaking even after five years, would you keep it going? How about ten years? What if it had lost as many regular season games as it had won since 1997? Would you make a change then?
Question 5: What do you say to the fans that have been faithful supporters for these eighteen years? “Hang in there?” “Keep hoping?” “Keep buying tickets?” “Keep buying those jerseys?” We are hinging in there. We are hoping. We would just like to know that progress is being made, that there really is hope and that another Super Bowl is forthcoming. Can you tell us that? Can you do what it takes? Can you commit to bringing another Super Bowl championship to Dallas as much as you can commit to making the business known as the Dallas Cowboys profitable? We, the fans, have no business interest in the Dallas Cowboys. Yes, it’s great that the stadium is the best, but what we really like are the star, the silver and blue, the blues that don’t match, the blue jerseys that are hardly ever worn, and most of all, the five Lombardi Trophies.
Mr. Jones, if you’re listening, please consider what the sports world is saying, what I am saying and what the majority of Cowboy fans are saying. Cowboy fans want another championship. We know we won’t get one every year, but we expect to be competitive every year. We want the Cowboys to be respected as a dominant team again. We want it. You want it. The NFL needs it. It can happen. Please listen.