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America's Team?

America's Team?

The storyline for change and reasons for a variety of coaches has been scrambled. People are still attempting to put on blinders and to just strike out at Jerry Jones.

There were two distinct periods of coaching following the end of the Dynasty Period, 1992-1995, for Dallas.

The first period included the decline of the actual group of players who created a five year dominant period in the NFL. That was the total run of it, and those players....five years!

There was an underlying mood of social revolt and unrest that showed through the entire NFL players group, and which was unsettling even within the lockerroom for Dallas then. I add this just as a reference of perspective.

Social defiance surfaced even in the departure of Jimmy Johnson. He had wanted to expand his on domain of dominance within the NFL, and had been a 'Benedict Arnold' going to another team to attempt and to secure both a GM's job and Head Coaching job the week before his Cowboys were to play in the Super Bowl. That is just plain....WRONG.

But it forced Jerry Jones to start unmantling the franchise with changes starting from the very top.

Sorry, Jerry wasn't the sorry egotistical buffoon he is being portrayed as being by some, today.

Since another relationship had already been forged with Oklahoma Coach, Barry Switzer, and trust existed there, Jerry turned to him for a leader for his team. But to Barry's credit, he lead the team to a NFC Championship game and then another Super Bowl the following year. I wouldn't whimper too long about not have four straight Lombardis, because just a repeat is extremely difficult and San Francisco was a very challenging team.

Barry remained for an additional season, and then was replaced by Chan Gailey. The one thing that Jerry probably would have done different, if given the chance to redo, would have been to have retained Chan beyond the two year period he was given to change things. He just didn't have long enough to make his own direction forged. But for record, Chan never achieved the top in the NFL, and only recently returned as a head coach.

Dave Campo just never had a real chance to succeed. He was trusted by Jerry, but wasn't the complete package to forge a franchise. But even here, the cap dead area and player decline was more than mere coaching could adjust for. Just as Green Bay, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco all had to do at that same time...they all just had swallow it whole. They then had to grow beyond that stunted and no growth period.

That was the first period of coaching during Jerry Jone's ownership.

When Jerry Jones gained ownership of the Dallas Cowboys, he had done a lot of preparation as to guidelines, principals of ownership, as well as responsibilities and commitments by himself.

When the Cowboys were forged in a wasteland of negated opportunity, it's original owner, Clint Murchison, Jr., had a deep love for football. He drove it's organization with a sense of commitment and responsibility. That was to the game and to the fan.

Jerry schooled himself upon this past in the hands of Murchison, and has striven to maintain that historical perspective in his own endeavors as well. Those early franchise trials and commitments were not lost upon Jerry.

Jerry knew that the now fabled Tom Landry, had been given a vote of confidence, and the faith in principals and the dignity of a quality coach forged what became America's team.

Cowboys: the real kind, with saddle, ponies, lariats, and 10-gallon hats, have always been bigger than life for Americans. They ride tall in the saddle. They are men of few words, but men who mean what they say.

During the formation of America's Team, the Dallas Cowboys lived up to that very expectation.

This brings us to the second period of coaches under Jerry Jones. And that starts with bringing in a NFL Giant, in the person of Bill Parcells. As the Packers, 49'ers, and Pittsburgh had done, the Cowboys now needed to lift itself from the bottom and start the road back to the very top.

Many observers described this marriage as the 'odd couple.' But they were remarkably on the same accord. They were both joined at the hip concerning base and driving elements for the franchise itself. But it boiled down to being accountable for meaning what they said.

Bill started the ball rolling for the Cowboys once again. He implanted a sense of accountability and paying for the road provided. Discipline as well as a sense of responsibility and accomplishment based reward were reinstilled upon the team. But Parcells' energy levels were low at this end of his NFL career, and he chose to leave prior to accomplishing the franchise's focus and re-directions.

Jerry then selected a coach who had the potential to sharpen this team's directions and get it the final steps towards returning to the very top. Wade Phillips was able to get tantalizingly close to that goal. Ultimately, his lack of core center principal of accountability and a team instilled discipline was his undoing. The team was the very best in the NFC, and was knocked off it's perch just before the NFC Championship Game. Momentum of an aggressive New York Giants team was his undoing. From there through the next season, Wade Phillips lost his team.

That brings the Cowboys to last season and the emergence of Jason Garrett. Garrett is as old school, tempered by modern insights and applications, as it's core now. He is founded in the dynasty period's legend which provided the path for America's Team. Additionally, he is of the founding principals that nurtured the growth of the team during the days of Tom Landry.

Things have changed somewhat, as the team started out eight seasons ago, with the arrival of Bill Parcelss. The shelf life of that era's players has started to show up in some of those players. This is not by design of Jerry Jones, or a learning curve by Jason Garrett. It is a necessary shedding of dead elements for the future, now. That is part of the current growth process.

The Franchise, although, has in fact returned to it's own roots. It now has a dignified and directed person in charge. One that correctly summarizes the talent, potential, as well a techniques necessary to forge a Championship. America's Team has returned to it's core values...both for players, and in it's guiding hand, Jason Garrett.

Now it's time for some of it's fans, to Cowboy Up, and take to heart what has actually happened. And it was all done for their own good as well as the team in the same vein.

Myself, I still believe...and gladly look forward, however the journey proceeds from now. As when Tom Landry was given a ten year contract, instead of being fired, it's called a vote of confidence....

With Jason Garrett as the Head Coach, the Dallas Cowboys have MY vote of confidence as well!  

                                                      


                                                                   There's no right way to do the wrong thing.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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