History repeats itself?



The Jerry-fan glass in 1996.

There sits Jerry in the Cowboys war room. A player projected to be one of the most talented players in the draft slides to Dallas. The fans are clamoring for Dallas to take him, as not only does he have a high grade, but he satisfies a position of need.

Instead, Dallas drafts a lineman at a position of need. The highly rated player is scooped up by the Minnesota Vikings in the 20's. The Cowboys host the Vikings later that season, and immediately regret not drafting the play maker that posted a huge day against the home team.

Of course, this is what occurred in 1998, when Randy Moss fell to Dennis Green and the Vikings. Fifteen years later, Sharrif Floyd is forsaken by Dallas and lands in Winter Park with Leslie Frazier.

Greg Ellis made a Pro Bowl and was a solid lineman. Frederick may end up being the same type of player, but hopefully without the drama (Ellis was a prima donna towards the end).

It is doubtful that Floyd will have the career Moss has had. Randy was a great talent in college with well-documented character issues. Sharrif is an unknown talent with some character questions. Floyd will probably have a better career than the highest rated defensive player in the 1998 draft, however, as Andre Wadsworth washed-out with Arizona after being selected third overall (one spot behind Ryan Leaf).

Oddly, Cowboys' fans tend to forget that the 1998 NFL Draft produced two Pro Bowlers for their team. The afore mentioned Ellis, and the long-time anchor on the edge, Flozell Adams went in the first and second rounds respectively.

But what is really bothering the fandom of America's Team is much more complex and insidious: perceived poor leadership.

Reams of paper could be wasted printing off posts on Blogging the Boys referring to leadership deficiencies in the Cowboys front office, on the Dallas coaching staff, and even on the field of play. History is damning the current leadership at Valley Ranch.

The screw-ups are so legendary, they do not need descriptions: just names.

Joey Galloway

Roy Williams (WR)

Bobby Carpenter

Quincy Carter

Julius Jones v Steven Jackson

Greg Ellis v Randy Moss

The 2009 NFL Draft

Trust me, I could go on. But permit me go in a different direction historically. Study the following names:

Rod Hill

Kevin Brooks

Alonzo Highsmith

Rod Hill and Kevin Brooks were first round selections by the incomparable Tom Landry. Both failed in Dallas and only played a few years in the NFL. Jimmy Johnson traded a second and a third round draft choice to Houston for the rights to Alonzo Highsmith. He played in Dallas for two seasons (1990 and 1991).

There are more bad trades and bad draft choices made by Dallas before Jerry Jones became the ultimate decision maker at Valley Ranch. The difference is that the Cowboys were winning Super Bowls, let alone playoff games at that time.

Stephen Covey, a self-help specialist, notes that relationships are analogous to a glass of water. The water is the reserve of good will in the relationship. For instance, every time a husband invests time and effort in the relationship, more water is symbolically deposited in the glass. When the husband ignores his wife's needs or requests, however, water is removed from the glass.

Since 1996, Jerry Jones has been removing water from the glass representing his relationship with Cowboys fans. The 2007 regular season increased the amount of water in the glass, but the glass was subsequently knocked over when the Giants upset Dallas in Texas Stadium. In 2009, consecutive victories over a decrepit Eagles team in week 17 and in the wild card round of the playoffs infused a little water back into the relationship.

The glass is now bone dry. There is no tolerance for any move conducted by Jerry Jones, or those surrounding him. Jerry has earned this relationship status.

There are two ways to look at the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.


Water in the glass

Empty glass

Trade from 18 to 31

Dallas gained an extra pick

Jerry lost estimated value

Not following the board

Dallas had similar grades on picks 18 through 31

Jerry (and Stephen) undercut Jason and Tom Ciskowski

Selecting T. Frederick

A desperate need has been addressed with the best Center

Jerry reached for a Center in lieu of losing better players

Evaluating Frederick

A smart, tough, strong anchor in the middle of the line

An unathletic player that does not fit the scheme

The 2013 NFL Draft


An unmitigated disaster

The truth lies somewhere along that continuum. The perception of Cowboys fans, however, is tainted by recent history. The degree of rationality is conversely related to the amount of bitterness still present in the mind of the fan.

Is there truly a void of leadership at Valley Ranch that will forever haunt fans throughout the remaining tenure of Jerry Jones? Each fan will answer that question differently based on their personal experience.

Did Dallas blow this draft? It will take several seasons to be able to adequately answer that question.

Is history repeating itself, or is this a unique point in Cowboys history? The answer will likely shape the opinion of the fan.

The amount of water left in the glass will also shape the attitude of the fan. My glass still has a little water that I can swirl around on the bottom...but not a lot.



Umm, her "glass" is full.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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