You have to give Jerry Jones credit. The man believes in himself and he doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him.
The Cowboys returned to relevance last year, going 12-4 and winning the NFC East. They hadn’t done the latter since 2009 and they hadn’t won 12 or more games since 2007. Needless to say, it was huge for the club and, love them or hate them, they were all over the news.
Dallas has always been known for making big, splashy moves. Jones doesn’t care about upsetting anyone or taking a chance.
Dez Bryant fell in the draft because of character issues, and the Cowboys jumped on him, thankfully. Rolando McClain had a history of minor criminal charges—some of which were recently dropped—and looked largely like a bust, even “retiring” from the NFL briefly. The Cowboys brought him in and he flourished, putting up 67 tackles in just 12 starts.
This offseason, Dallas made moves that were even more controversial. First, the Cowboys signed Greg Hardy after the Panthers let him go due to the now-thrown-out domestic violence conviction. Most recently, they signed La’el Collins to a three-year deal after he fell out of the draft due to concerns about his connection—he’s not a suspect, according to police who interviewed him—to the murder of his pregnant ex-girlfriend.
Neither one is legally a criminal. That doesn’t mean they come without controversy.
So what does that say about Jones? It says he’s getting desperate. Yes, he has a history of this, so it’s not pure desperation. He genuinely doesn’t worry about controversy and just does what he thinks is best for the team. It’s a single-minded devotion.
Still, the frequency of these moves lately shows Jones knows the window is closing.
Tony Romo isn’t getting any younger, and he’s been banged up. That’s not to say the Cowboys only have a year or two to win, but they do need to push for a Super Bowl soon or they may have to blow the whole thing up and rebuild. Jones doesn’t want to do that. He loves Romo and he loves winning and he wants to combine the two.
No matter who it takes.
It’s part of why the Cowboys continue to be linked to Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. If they could trade for him, it may make them the instant favorites in the NFC. It would at least put them up there with the Packers and Seahawks. That too would be a controversial trade, but it may be worth it.
As Jones has learned from the Patriots, pushing the envelope does pay off. Sure, people might criticize the moves, but they won’t care as much if he wins. Dallas winning the Super Bowl would be absolutely huge.
Jones will continue to make whatever moves he wants, when he wants. He relishes being in the media and keeping the Cowboys relevant because of it. Anything he can do to bring in the players he wants and create headlines along the way, he’s going to do it every single time. The more crazy and controversial, the better.
All he has to do now is trade for Johnny Manziel.