It’s always a little unnerving when the guy who never shuts up all of a sudden takes a vow of silence.
There’s probably only one thing Cowboys owner Jerry Jones dreams about more than another Super Bowl title, the next microphone or camera being placed in front of his face so he can opine about everything Cowboys related.
Jones begged off his traditional post-game interviews, however, after Sunday’s listless 16-6 loss to Buffalo, one in which dropped the Cowboys to 4-11 on the season.
Despite being the favorites in what turned out to be the worst division in the NFC, Dallas turned irrelevant when the first of two broken collarbones befell Tony Romo.
Despite trying three different fill-ins this season — Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel and Kellen Moore Sunday against the Bills — the Cowboys were able to win just one game without Romo and are set to finish with their worst record in a quarter century.
Any NFL team would struggle without their veteran starting quarterback, especially one as talented and accomplished as Romo, but Jones seems to have recessed into his own mind recently, trying to compute just how ineffective his team has been without its on-field leader.
After all, he doesn’t even have to leave Texas to see that Houston picked up his garbage off the street and has been able to reach the precipice of the AFC South crown with Weeden filling in for the concussed Brian Hoyer and T.J. Yates, who is out with a torn ACL.
At least some are speculating that Jones is preparing to blame the coaching staff for its inability to at least keep Dallas in the conversation in the dreadful NFC East, where the Cowboys main rivals, the Washington Redskins, will win the division with either an 8-8 or 9-7 record depending on their success in Dallas during Week 17.
Jones’ son Stephen, the ‘Boys executive vice president, filled in for his dad after the Bills’ setback, although it was evident he wasn’t given the all clear to speak about anything meaningful.
“We’re worried about this week,” Stephen Jones claimed, pointing toward a Week 17 matchup against the ‘Skins. “There will be plenty of time to deal with evaluating what this team did for the season at the end of the season. We’ve got a game left against the Redskins and that’s what we’ll focus on.”
Stephen then even went Drew Rosenhaus on the assembled reporters with a “next question” directive.
Firing head coach Jason Garrett would simply be a very expensive reshuffling of the deck chairs on the Titanic. Jones already stripped Garrett of the power a traditional NFL coach has long ago and the ex-quarterback’s true value to the franchise now is as yes man to the boss.
Garrett also has four more years left on his contract and writing a check for $20-plus million to get rid of a lemming is nothing more than putting a band-aid on a broken leg.
Furthermore, it would be really difficult to bring in a legitimate head coach who would be willing to accept a similar setup as Garrett has. You can always pay another figurehead a lot of money to toe Jones’ line, but wasting another $20 million for cosmetic purposes seems wasteful, even for Jones.
The real culprit in this disaster is the guy who put together the roster, so Jones should be spending his time away from the spotlight evaluating his own performance.
When the Cowboys’ owner looks in the mirror, however, it’s not about soul-searching, it’s about primping for the next camera.
— John McMullen is a national football columnist for FanRagSports.com and TodaysPigskin.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @jfmcmullen — Also catch John this season on ESPN Southwest Florida every Monday at 3 PM ET; on ESPN Lexington every Thursday at 6:05 ET, and live every Tuesday from 2 to 6 PM ET at the Golden Nugget Casino in Atlantic City for the NFL Wraparound on ESPN South Jersey.
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