The National Football League 2014 season is about to get on its way. The teams have made their moves, the Seahawks would love to repeat their title, Johnny Manziel wants to put on a show and the Cowboys can’t be taken seriously once again.
One of the things I like the most about the NFL is the way the league gives a chance to pretty much any team to be a title contender. The budget on a team is not relevant to the position they will end up in. The Dallas Cowboys are the prime example for that. At the end of the 2013 season the team owned by Jerry Jones occupied the top spot as the most valuable franchise in the NFL. A 406 million dollar revenue to be exact. At the same time the team based in Irving, Texas did not make it to the playoffs for a fourth straight season.
Out of the 32 teams in the league, the Cowboys usually end up in the middle of the leaderboard. This is really not a good spot to be at when it comes to the NFL Draft. At the draft, collegiate players get the chance to sign with a professional team. The best collegiate players are usually selected in the first 10 rounds of the draft, unless strange things happen. With the Cowboys usually sitting within the 10th to 20th pick. For the sake of Jerry Jones team I would actually like a devastating season so they could get the first pick at one point bringing in a Heisman Trophy winner.
With that I come to my next point called Jerry Jones. The owner of America’s Team is for sure a brilliant mind when it comes to business, hence the stats given above. With that in mind, the 71 year-old millionaire (#578 according to Forbes list) is really investing on his team, but probably not in the right way. The Cowboys have made some really poor choices in the past three drafts, not one player has made a big impact on the team lately coming from the biggest talent pool available to NFL teams. Many people think that Jones is actually the man who makes the play calls during games, and that Jason Garrett is just there to fake it as a head coach.
Meanwhile the Cowboys play every two weeks on the world’s most expensive stadium known to man ($1.2 billion), formerly know as Cowboys Stadium now due to a huge sponsorship by AT&T it now “AT&T Stadium”. The admission cost to their games averages $110 per single ticket and somehow Jerry and his marketing team manage to almost sell-out the 100,000+ seats at every game. In the 2013 season, according to stats by ESPN Jerry World was the stadium with the most fans during the eight home games (704,345). I would like to think that most people go to watch the Cowboys Cheerleaders. America’s Sweethearts have also helped the Cowboys marketing as they are the most known sports animation group in the world. Interviewing a cheerleader is even harder than getting a one on one with Tony Romo.
For me, Tony is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. I am not ignoring the fact he may throw a lot of intercepted passes at key moments during the game but he has an ability to play within the pocket like few players of his position do. He can usually control the tempo of the game and if he has to make a decision without being influenced by those outside the field he will usually do the right one. But what hurts him the most are the bad decisions during the draft and the whole offseason. He needs better players hired in the defensive line in order for him to achieve a better completion rating. I’ll makke my point by telling you that in the 2013 season the Cowboys defensive line ranked 30th in opponent passing yards and 27th in rushing yards out of the 32 teams in the league. The Cowboys NEED better defense, there is no way around it.
There is enough quality in the wide receivers and the Boys seem to be ok when it comes to running backs. Gavin Escobar, Jason Witten and Dez Bryant have the ability to make big plays. Lance Dunbar should be good to go this season and if healthy he can really make an impact on the league this time just how he did playing for the University of North Texas and setting any kind of records.
I obviously don’t know what the magic trick is for the Cowboys to tie the ranking they have as a revenue machine in the NFL. What will it take for the Cowboys to be back in the same spot Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin left them in 1995 (last time they won a Super Bowl)? The investment is obviously there, but it hasn’t been the right one. I like to think that things won’t change dramatically as long as Jerry Jones is in charge, but for the good of the most loved/hated team on the National Football League I hope I’m wrong and they can soon add a sixth star to the legacy of America’s Team.