Archivo de la etiqueta: Jerry Jones

A Mess Called the Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys is the biggest brand in the National Football League. A team that generates millions in revenue by selling tickets (over 90,000 fans/game) merchandise and player appearances among other sources of income. What this team does not generate as consistently are good results.

Also known as America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys are out of Playoff Contention with two games left this season, even thought they belong to one of the weakest divisions in the league. For them, making it to the playoffs was still a chance for the Cowboys in the NFC East.

They were going into Saturday Night’s game against the New York Jets with a record of 4-9 and only three games to go. The Dallas Cowboys were going against an 8-5 team that even with that record can´t afford to lose if they want a Wild Card option. The game was played in Arlington at AT&T Stadium, but this season has been as bad at home as it has been on the road for Jason Garrett’s team.

Some things have changed in this team ever since Dez Bryant’s controversial “no catch” call in last year’s playoff game against Green Bay. Up to that point, the Cowboys were considered a serious Super Bowl candidate shocking rivals left and right. They had finished the regular season with a 12-4 record  including a big win against Seattle at Qualcom Stadium.

From almost reaching perfection in 2014 to a complete disaster in 2015, here are some of the things that may have gone wrong this year. Injuries, bad play calling, poor trades and new hires and locker room problems. Here we will try to break down each one.

Injuries

The injury that definitely shaped the season for the Cowboys was Tony Romo’s back injury. The Easter Illinois graduate got injured in the second game of the season against Philadelphia. The team was able to hold on to the lead they had already built in that game to start the season 2-0.

The problem was that without Romo, Brandon Weeden did not hold the pressure and the team began to fall apart. Even bringing Matt Cassell (11 seasons in the NFL) to the team in order to replace Romo was not a solution. The franchise quarterback had to come back and win against Miami so they could face Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers on Thanksgiving Day. Bringing Romo back early seemed like a good idea after the game in the Sunshine State, but proved to be costly when he got injured again against the Panthers.

Romo ended his season with 3 wins and one loss, but at that point, the uphill battle for the Cowboys was already huge. Cassel has so far started in seven games and only won one. Against the Jets, he was dismissed early after some mistakes that put the Cowboys in a tough situation. Now, he is not expected to come back, letting Kellen Moore take over from here on out.

Lance Dunbar, drafted as a free agent four seasons ago, was looking for his breakthrough season. The University of North Texas record-man has never been Garrett’s first option as a running back but has responded in a positive way whenever he is asked to step on the field. Dunbar averaged 13.4 rushing yards in only 13 attempts. His season ended in week four due to an injury.

Other players that did not have much luck healthwise this season were Gavin Escobar. The latest victim of an injury that was just ruled out for the season with a torn Achilles in the fourth quarter on Saturday against the Jets.

Dez Bryant has not been completely healthy this season. His struggles began when he got injured against the Giants the first week of the regular season. He then missed six games and did not score his first touchdown of the season until week nine. So far he only has three, while last season he ended with 16 before going into the playoffs.

These three are just a few of the victims to injuries this season. The team has had to use their second a third strings in many positions, up to their fourth in the QB spot. At the same time, Sean Lee is still healthy 15 weeks into this disastrous season.

Bad Play Calling

The record that the Dallas Cowboys currently hold could make us think that there is no talent in this lineup but there is. Last season, with many of the same guys, things were not going as bad. This season, the approach has had to change constantly due to the different QB’s that have been used. Many interceptions have been thrown and sacks against Romo or anyone in his place are becoming a common thread.

Last year, DaMarco Murray set a new rushing record with 1,845 yards in a single season, leaving Emitt Smith’s 1,773 rushing-yards record behind. Now that DaMarco has gone with the Philadelphia Eagles, the entire team has only rushed the ball for 1,669 after 14 games adding up the work of seven players.

The throws by the QB’s have not been as accurate this season as they had been last season by Romo. Jason Witten just passed the 1,000 catches mark and continues to be the man with the safest hands this season. 70 receptions for 643 yards and two touchdowns have him ahead of Cole Beasley, Terrence Williams and everyone else. On another note, Dan Bailey has been almost perfect this season , scoring 28 of 29 field goals he has attempted this season from any distance. It was thanks to him that the Cowboys beat Washington on the road and continued with a chance late in the season.

Poor Trades and New Hires 

Letting DeMarco Murray go was probably the biggest mistake Jerry Jones and his staff made before the season began. Making Dez Bryant wait until the deadline to sign a new contract has also affected the man in his health status this season and lack of rythm in some games.

Greg Hardy was brough in with the stamp of a bad boy due to problems of domestic violence. He had to miss the first four games with a suspension and has not made that much of an impact on the field. Terrance Mitchell has not been given much playing time in his first season with the Cowboys but has two interceptions in six games played.

While the defense was a huge problem early in the season, they have been able to do better in the latter stages of the season. The team has thrown a total of 19 interceptions and has only intercepted seven balls. A total of 27 sack against 29 from thier opponents. The Cowboys have had a total of 266 first downs by 279 from the teams they play against.

After a great 2014 season, the Cowboys sent six players to the ProBowl in Hawaii. That was the most players sent to the all-star game since 2010. By the way that things are looking this year, having one player make the trip to the Pro-Bowl maybe more than enough.

Locker Room Problems

The Dallas Cowboys are heavily scrutinized by the fans and even more by the media. They all want to know what is going on with the Boys every second of every minute. The coverage that the Cowboys get when they are doing good is huge, where there is controversy, it is even bigger and it does not stop even in situations like the one they are going through now.

Throughout the season, it has been reported that some players have breakouts against teammates and the media itself in the locker room. By NFL Rules, after almost every practice, the media has access to the players. Some like Dez Bryant are tired of it and have gone on a rant about the job done by the press.

Late in the season, the Dallas Cowboys organization sent out a press release with new media guidelines which prohibitted many of the things done by the several media outlets. No tweeting during practice times, no recording with cellphone cameras and no one could use Periscope while they were on the practice fields nor in the locker room. Only the Baltimore Ravens are said to have adopted such measures, which might seem extreme for some and needed by others.

Game Over and Start Again

Losing to the New York Jets at Jerry World was the last thing that the Cowboys wanted to experience in a season where despite all their problems, they had a chance to make an epic comeback. Jason Garrett, the eighth coach in Cowboy’s history may have a lot of explaining to do after the season ends. The history of this team, requires it to be back at a Super Bowl rather sooner than later.

Seasons with negative records are becoming a common thread in the record books for Garrett’s team. What happened in 2014 was a great season with many things to brag about, this and many other seasons have been some Cowboys fans may want to forget. On to the next one, but the mentality that there is always next season needs to change.

America’s Team has not won a Super Bowl since 1995 and  now, 20 years later, we don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Will the change from Valley Ranch in Irving to their new facilities in Frisco bring a change? Will Jerry Jones change his mentality and bring a new coach? Will the scouting team and the front office make the right decisions in the upcoming NFL Draft? Will injuries continue haunting the Cowboys?

The answers to these and more questions will be solved next season. For now, Cowboys Nation has to hold back their tears and see how other teams fight for the Super Bowl that will be decided in San Francisco at Levis Stadium. Time for the Dallas Cowboys to start thinking abou Super Bowl LI.

*Stats from NFL.com and DallasCowboys.com

Postseason Cowboys

The accident waiting to happen has not happened this season for the Dallas Cowboys. Without Jerry Jones making the calls and letting his staff, lead by Jason Garrett do its job, after 16 weeks of football action this means the Cowboys are going to the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

Unlike the past three years, Dallas did not have to wait until the last game of the regular season to learn its faith. By winning all but three games up to this point last night at AT&T Stadium they clinched not just a ticket to the postseason but the NFC East division title.

America’s team has been unbeatable on the road but they have had their fair share of struggles when performing in front of a home crowd. They opened the season with a loss against the 49’ers and since then only the Arizona Cardinals, the Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles have made it clear that they do wanted to mess with Texas.

That did not matter much now, since after losing to the Eagles in Thanksgiving, Romo has been on beast mode and done everything he can to take his team to where it stands today. After the Eagles lost to the Redskins on Saturday it was only a matter of a win against the Colts to seal the deal. They obviously came out on top with a dominant 42-7 performance over Indianapolis.

It was a record-setting night in Jerry World and it had nothing to do with ticket sales. The over 90,000 spectators were in to see the boys #finishthefight. Emitt Smith was sitting in the V.I.P. box with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and “hoping” to see DeMarco Murray beat his record of rushing yards in a season. With having surgery done in his left hand just days before the game it was a surprise to see Murray on the field. At the end of the day he was 29 yards shy of it.

The one that did get a record was Tony Romo. The quarterback had just another one of those nights that are hard to believe from a QB that had been struggling with his games in December his whole career. He completed 90% of his passes (18-20), he did not throw a single interception while the Colts had two. He passed the ball for 218 yards which has him now as the franchise all-time leading passer with 32,971, putting him in the record books over legendary Troy Aikman.

At the end of the game there were many reasons to smile about in the locker room. The victory, the playoff spot, and being so close to getting their first shutout of the season and against a team that had scored in every regular season game since 1993.

It was also a special night for coach Jason Garrett who now has 40 victories with the team since he took charge in 2010. He is now showing why Jerry has kept him for a long time after losing decisive games against the Giants, Redskins and Eagles the past three seasons. For the man that once was a player and is now leading the organization to the spot in history it deserves, this is the reflection of the work done in all past three seasons and not only the past 15 games.

If the regular season ended today things would not look so nice for the Cowboys as they would most likely be playing the Cardinals  (11-4), one of the few teams that can brag about beating the boys this season. If the accident waiting to happen does not happen there is a big chance we could see the Dallas Cowboys back in the Super Bowl on February 1st at the University of Arizona

How ‘bout Them Cowboys?

Dallas Cowboys (dallascowboys.com)
Dallas Cowboys (dallascowboys.com)

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.