To Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys owner, general manager and whatever other titles you’d like to give yourself: It’s time to decide whether you want to feed your ego and maintain control over this football team, or whether you want to win another Super Bowl. The way things are trending, the two options are not mutually exclusive.
Wade Phillips may be a great yes-man, but when it comes to coaching in the National Football League, his tenure with the Cowboys has been marked by underachieving and a complete and utter lack of discipline. Penalties continue to kill this team, and last night’s loss to a far inferior Washington Redskins squad was just the latest example.
Phillips insists that he’s not concerned by penalties, and that they eventually end up evening themselves out. The Redskins were penalized five times for 42 yards, while Wade’s gang of morons was flagged 12 times for 91 yards. Does that sound even to you? (Note: I am not complaining about the officiating. I thought the calls were justified.)
Even worse, it seems as if just about every Cowboys penalty negates a big play, whether on offense, defense or special teams. And none was worse than the holding violation on the last play of the game (again, I have no issue with the call), which took the winning touchdown off the board.
Another question: Why was Alex Barron even allowed to board the team plane back to Dallas? Jimmy Johnson, or just about any legitimate NFL head coach with a grasp on reality, would have cut him on the way to the locker room after the game. Being called for holding three times is absolutely unacceptable, and it’s even worse when all three calls were correct beyond any form of debate.
It’s no secret that offensive linemen hold on nearly every play during a game. But there’s a difference between a brief, well-hidden grab of a jersey out of the officials’ view and what Barron did. No official wants his call to be the deciding factor at the end of the game, but when you have an offensive lineman put two arms around a pass-rusher’s shoulders and neck, hog-tie him and drag him to the ground, the officials had no choice but to throw the flag.
I still believe this team can be a Super Bowl contender. I’m not even remotely suggesting that it’s the best team in the league — only that Dallas should be in the conversation when listing teams with a chance to win the big game. But constantly giving away first downs, big third-down stops and chunks of return yardage due to silly, sloppy, undisciplined play is not the way to go in a league where subpar efforts will doom you even against weaker teams.
So, Jerry Jones, I beg you to put down the Botox, do what’s best for this football team and hire a real head coach who will demand accountability of his players, and then swallow your pride and step out of the way so the man can do his job. Otherwise, the only Super Bowl you will see is this season’s, because it will be played in your stadium, but your football club will be sitting in the luxury suites next to you, and not fighting for a Lombardi trophy.