Is Jerry Jones being a general manager as well as an owner the thing that is keeping the Dallas Cowboys from making the playoffs and even winning Super Bowls? Sure, there are better football minds to run the show than him, but Tony Romo, probably, would still be without a ring even if the management structure would have been different.
Jones knows business, but football? That’s debatable. His ego probably cost him a few more Super Bowl rings, and it has been his leadership that has constantly put the Cowboys in an awful cap situation, with this year projected to be between $15-20 million over the cap, which they need to get below of by March 11.
Jones thinks that with the talent Dallas assembled from 2006 to 2010, they had a shot of winning a Super Bowl. Tony Romo became the quarterback, and he had, on both ends of the ball, players like Terrell Owens, Flozell Adams, Jason Witten, Roy Williams, Marion Barber, DeMarcus Ware and Miles Austin to help him succeed.
With Romo, the Cowboys have made the playoffs three times: In 2006, 2007 and in 209, going 1-3 in the postseason with some late-game gaffes against the Seahawks (2006) and the Giants (2007), but also getting demolished by the Vikings in 209. Since then they’ve gone four consecutive seasons without the playoffs: The 6-10 year in 2010 with Romo missing more than half of it, and then three consecutive 8-8 seasons, losing in the final game against a divisional rival each time.
Is Jones to blame for Romo messing up in crucial moments? Nope. That’s on Romo, his head coach and coordinator, each time someone different. This season had its fair share of frustrating finishes, from the loss in the shootout against the Broncos to blowing a huge lead against the Packers. Romo actually missed the final game with an injury, and Kyle Orton wasn’t far from getting the job done in the final game against the Eagles.
The Cowboys overpaid, and couldn’t cut ties when they needed to, paying for it the last few years, being unable to be a force in free agency. Players like Miles Austin and Jay Ratliff were kept for too long. The Cowboys restructured deals with Sean Lee, cornerback Orlando Scandrick and Romo to generate more than $17 million in cap space, but they need more – release players or get them to take paycuts, with DeMarcus Ware, no longer the powerhouse pass rusher he was, the next in line.
The Cowboys would probably be better off with someone other than Jones calling the shots, while Jones pumps in the money and finds way to generate more revenue. However, over reaching and saying that it would have been a Super Bowl ring on Romo’s finger by now if it wasn’t for his decisions is taking it a bit too far, and overestimating Romo’s ability as a franchise quarterback. However, there have been worse QBs than him, only in the right systems and under the right coaching and management, to win the big one.