Hi all, I am a long-time reader of the site but only commented for the first time last week. I have been a fan of the Boys since 1968. I love all of your insights and have not felt the need to comment before, but Jerry Jones' comments this offseason are driving me crazy and causing me to post.
An offseason of Jerry continually repeating that he wants to make people "uncomfortable" is nauseating. As the Chief Executive of our team, it is up to him to find the best possible people for their jobs and to give them the support they need to succeed. If you feel like you have to make it "uncomfortable" for them to get better results, then you (Jerry) are the problem. It means you either haven't hired the right people or you don't give them the proper support to succeed. The only party that should have to feel "uncomfortable" is Jerry, because he is the consistent thread across all of the issues this team has had in their now 15+ year stretch of mediocrity or worse.
I really feel like we can never know how good Jason Garrett or anyone else can be because Jerry plays all of the owner/GM/and player's best friend or heavy roles and that can't work. It undermines everything, including and in particular the coaching staff.
This team doesn't have a consistent template or methodology for drafting and developing players because it has no consistency in the way it wants to play. Sure, we go through stretches where we seem to develop a template, but it doesn't last. This means that every 3 to 5 years, we change coaches and/or schemes which tends to lay to waste any chance for depth that could have been built, as many players in house no longer fit the new scheme's or coaches' templates. Add that to the consistently reduced # of high draft picks with which we have to play with due to Jerry's semi-regular need to trade up or trade away (see Roy Williams) as Rafael laid out, and it's really no wonder that we are always lacking in depth, overpaying for Free Agents or shopping in the bargain bin (see Livings and Bernadeau) and hoping that one or two new skill position players will make up for our lack of depth down the middle (OL, DL, Safeties, etc.). I wanted to scream when I saw Jerry's quotes yesterday that he can choose to go weaker in the OLine because Romo is so good at avoiding the rush and making plays under pressure.
Jerry is a great marketer and I do believe he really wants to win, but he is the root of our on-field problems and it is hard to imagine how we can ever get to be a consistent winner as long as he is in charge. Despite all of his issues, we are not far off from being a sustainable, competitive playoff team year-in and year-out. But that takes a level of discipline and consistency in approach and long-term thinking that is really the weakness of our organization (ie. - Jerry). Unless he undergoes an incredible transformation (not just more plastic surgery! :)) or somehow decides that he is okay truly being the CEO and Head of Marketing but leaving all football operations in the hands of others and getting out of their way, all things it is hard to imagine him doing, I expect that we can all look forward to continued mediocrity. Let's hope I'm wrong.