Posts Tagged ‘Dallas Cowboys’

Jerry Jones: Dallas Cowboys GM Once Again Suckered Like a Bad Fantasy Football GM

In Sports on April 26, 2013 at 3:45 pm

jerry jones

The first round of the 2013 NFL Draft has left Dallas Cowboy fans shaking their heads in disbelief once again, courtesy of the only GM in the league that could survive a 17-year stretch with only one playoff victory.  After signing QB Tony Romo to an unbelievable contract extension this offseason, Jerry Jones knew that he needed to get some protection for his overpriced investment.

With two outstanding offensive guard prospects on the board, the Cowboys should have been in position to take one with the 18th pick, but the demand for offensive lineman and the lack of stars at the skill positions left them on the outside looking in.  One by one, the top offensive lineman came off the board, and a trade down looked like it might be the best option for the Cowboys until Florida DT Shariff Floyd inexplicably landed in their lap.  The dominant defensive lineman was projected by most experts as a top three pick, and with aging defensive tackles and a new defensive scheme, Floyd seemed like a no-brainer.

Cowboy fans were celebrating their unlikely good fortune when the announcement was made that the 18th pick had been traded to the San Francisco 49ers.  Dropping down 13 spots with a blue-chip player on the board surely meant that the Cowboys were offered a king’s ransom that was too good to pass up.  And given the fact that the reigning NFC Champion 49ers had more picks than they could even use (13), Cowboy fans anxiously waited to hear the details of the trade.

Jaws dropped across the country as the trade details revealed that the Cowboys dropped down 13 spots for a mere 3rd round pick, a rip-off by the point value charts that are used around the NFL.  Of course, according to the spin doctors in Dallas, their charts say that they got the best of the deal.  Truly absurd!  Even if the Cowboys had gotten fair value in the trade by everyone else’s standards, the fact remains that they still passed up on an impact player in a draft devoid of stars.

When the Cowboys finally made their pick, it was announced that had they selected Travis Frederick, a Center from Wisconsin who had one of the worst combine workouts in recent memory.  Considered the top player at his position, most teams and experts still had him ranked as no more than a third round prospect.  Even Frederick himself admitted that he was surprised to get the call in the first round.

In 1998, the Cowboys desperately needed a top WR, and the whole world expected them to take Randy Moss with the 8th pick in the draft.  They chose DE Greg Ellis instead, and Moss haunted the Cowboys for several years with the Minnesota Vikings.  It is quite possible that history is going to repeat itself for Cowboy fans.  After the Cowboys passed on Floyd, the Vikings snatched him up.

It won’t take long for the Cowboys to see if they made the right choice by trading down in the draft.  On November 3, 2013, Floyd and Frederick will line up head-to-head at Cowboys Stadium.

If Floyd ends up becoming a dominant player, Cowboy fans will be left once again to wonder what might have been if not for “Trader Jerry” desperately trying to prove that he can win a Super Bowl without Jimmy Johnson by making moves that most GMs would never consider.  Ironically, the one person who might think that Jones is doing a good job is former Vikings GM Mike Lynn, who essentially handed the Cowboys a championship roster by giving away the farm to acquire Herschel Walker in 1989.  Come to think of it, maybe Jones is just trying to repay the Vikings for their past generosity.

Breakthrough Moments (Part 2 of 2)

In Inspiration and Motivation, Life Lessons, Pursuit of Happiness on January 12, 2010 at 6:45 am

(This is the second post in a 2-part series)

If you truly believe that success is going to happen, a breakthrough moment will eventually occur, although the timing of it cannot be guaranteed. Case in point:  the Dallas Cowboys.  Whether you love or hate the Cowboys (or even if you’re not a football fan), the lessons learned from this story can be applied to anyone’s life.

After a string of success in the early 90’s, the Cowboys started to falter (much to the delight of the throngs of Cowboy-haters around the country). The last playoff game that they won was against the Vikings in December of 1996.  It is remarkable that a storied franchise with a winning history could go through nearly a decade-and-a-half without winning at least one playoff game, but it happened.

In 2006, their chance to end the playoff drought slipped away (both literally and figuratively) as Tony Romo bobbled the ball, on what would have been a fairly easy, game-winning field goal attempt.  Any doubts that already existed were intensified by this unlikely turn of events.  As a devastated Tony Romo walked off of the field, many wondered if he would ever be able to regain his confidence and reach his potential.

When the season ended, the Cowboys parted ways with Bill Parcells (one of the most respected, successful coaches in the game). He was replaced by Wade Phillips (a winning coach that had never won a playoff game). In his first season with the Cowboys, Phillips coached the team to a 13-3 record – making them the favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.  However, the heavily-favored Cowboys lost to the Giants in their first playoff game – a crushing turn-of-events that continued to reinforce the doubt that plagued Romo, Phillips and the Cowboys.

The following year, the Cowboys had a chance to return to the playoffs by winning their last game of the season against the Eagles (who also needed a win to qualify for the playoffs). No one expected that the Cowboys would have an easy time beating the Eagles in Philadelphia, but most thought that they would at least be competitive.  As the Cowboys walked off the field, demoralized from a shocking 44-6 thrashing at the hands of their most bitter rivals, doubt had reached an all-time high.  Most people thought that Wade Phillips would be fired and that Tony Romo couldn’t win the “big game.”

This season, Phillips returned as the head coach and Romo returned as the starting quarterback.  The Cowboys struggled early, and then went on a winning streak, leaving them in first place going into December.  However, December and January have not been kind to the Cowboys in recent years.  When they lost their first two games in December, everyone, including the most die-hard Cowboy fans, believed that history was about to repeat itself one more time.

Their next opponent was the Saints, who had already won their first 13 games of the season.  Adding to the challenge was the fact that the game was being played in New Orleans at the Superdome (a stadium known for crowd noise that hampers the visiting team’s ability to communicate with each other).  To make matters worse, there was a chance that they would be playing the game without their best defensive player, DeMarcus Ware, who was carted off the field six days earlier in a neck brace.  No one gave the Cowboys a chance to win the game against the Saints.  Most thought that they would miss the playoffs all together.  But then it happened!  The first breakthrough moment!

The Cowboys came into the Superdome and beat the Saints, ending New Orleans’ undefeated season.  The next week, they shut out their long-time rivals, the Washington Redskins.  Suddenly their playoff hopes were alive again.  After the Giants lost, the Cowboys clinched a playoff spot, with a chance to win the division.  All they had to do was beat the same Philadelphia Eagle team that eliminated them last year in embarrassing fashion (almost the same scenario as last year). The only differences being that the game was being played in Dallas, not Philadelphia, and for the division title instead of a playoff spot.

Even though the game was being played in Dallas, many thought that the Eagles would win because of their recent play and the Cowboys history.  The Eagles had won 6 straight games heading into the season finale against Dallas.  The Cowboys, on the other hand, were still battling their December / January demons, having lost an inexplicable nine-straight season finales.  As the game came to a close, the Cowboys had shut out the same Eagles team that had decimated them in the same situation a year before.  It was the first time in the history of the franchise that they shut out their opponent on consecutive weeks.

The victory against the Eagles meant that they would have a playoff game at home the following week against the same Eagles team that they had just dominated.  Having beaten them earlier in the year in Philadelphia, the Cowboys would need to beat their division rivals three times in one season if they were to get the final monkey off of their backs, and quite possibly, save their head coach’s job.

The naysayers and prognosticators flooded the airwaves with their predictions that the Cowboys would lose.  They pointed to statistics to validate their points.  Andy Reid (the head coach of the Eagles) had never lost a first-round playoff game.  Wade Phillips had never won a playoff game.  Donovan McNabb (the Eagles quarterback) had won several playoff games.  Tony Romo was still looking for his first playoff victory.

Was it really possible for the Cowboys exorcise their playoff demons by beating the same team in back-to-back weeks?  Could this be the year for Tony Romo to get his first playoff victory after playing poorly in his two previous playoff appearances?  Could Wade Phillips inspire his team to perform the way that they had in the previous three games, giving him a chance to claim his first playoff victory after several seasons as an NFL head coach?  The answer to all of these questions is a resounding – YES!

The Cowboys, once again, dominated the Eagles just as they had six days earlier.  Another breakthrough moment for the team that was left for dead just one month earlier!  Had Wade Phillips, Tony Romo and the rest of the Dallas Cowboys bought into all of the negativity based on past failures, they most likely would have failed.  Tony Romo would still be known as the quarterback that couldn’t win “the big one.” Wade Phillips would probably have been fired as the head coach, quite possibly never getting the chance to win a playoff game again.

Breakthrough moments can (and will) happen when you believe in yourself, in spite of the doubts and negativity that exists in others.  Success is created from within, and cannot be stopped by the pessimism of those that don’t believe in what you are doing.   As the legendary coach, Vince Lombardi, once said…“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.”

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