Yikes! The DMN has one very damning article this morning about the allegedly undisciplined Dallas Cowboys. Watching the team play this year, it's hard to argue the points of the article. It relies mainly on unnamed sources. I know that many here believe that anonymous sources are not to be trusted but you overlook one important fact. When you are speaking truthfully in a negative manner about the team you play for, putting your name to quotes could cost you a job. You can call it cowardly if you want, that description is up for debate, but that doesn't make it any less truthful. And when an article claims five unnamed sources on an issue, it becomes very hard to deny the fact that some of this was going on at Valley Ranch.
Some of the charges leveled at the Cowboys after the jump.
- Tardiness for team charters to away games. No less than five charters had to be delayed from taking off because players were late and the flight to the final game in Philadelphia was delayed by over an hour?! Are you kidding me, the most important game of the season and players couldn't be bothered to show up on time. That is just sad.
- Fines for lateness or missing meetings were reduced from $5,000 - $12,000 under Parcells to $100 under Phillips. And it wasn't even Wade's fault, Jerry Jones rebuffed Phillips' attempts to have the fine levels raised. Jerry, you must quit coddling the players, for the love of God, please stop.
- As expected, sources singled out Terrell Owens for tardiness including a meeting days before the final game against Philadelphia. Again, the spotlight, unfairly, only shines on Owens - I would love to see a list of other players who were equally culpable. As an overall picture, meetings were often started 10-15 minutes late throughout the year. And once again, we have Jerry Jones laying down excuses for the players. As time moves on, my frustration with Jerry is mounting.
- Player/coach relationships were also strained. The defense lost respect for the departed Brian Stewart and one source said the offense felt slighted by Wade Phillips' attention to the defense.
- And in one of the most surprising developments in the article, some players lost respect for Jason Garrett because he failed to "corral Tony Romo in practice." Romo's practice habits were questioned and some felt that his lack of consistency can be directly traced to poor practice habits.
- Garrett's rocky relationship with Owens is an open secret but his relationship with Romo could be strained because he called him out for poor play late in the season.
All I can say is that the inmates seem to run the asylum and the fault lies at the top with Jerry Jones and Wade Phillips. The Cowboys players appear to be fairly lackadaisical in their commitment to the team and to the game itself. Seriously, you can't be on time for meetings and charters for away games? This is your job, show some personal responsibility. And Jerry, if you keep coddling players and explaining away their transgressions with lame excuses you'll keep getting the results you're getting regardless of talent-level on the roster.
It's a shame that our franchise has fallen to this level of unprofessional behavior. Jerry Jones and Wade Phillips better start now with a renewed management style or at the end of 2009 we'll be talking about clearing the decks and starting all over again.
As discussed above, he probably has some repair work to do with a few players but his relationship with T.O. looks to be beyond repair. I usually don't link to JFE articles, I can do without her constant over-the-top style, but she has one good point in her article from today. After spending much of the article talking about Keyshawn Johnson's view of Garrett and T.O., why do we care what he thinks anyway?, she makes this point about Garrett's comment that he respects T.O. as a player and he'll leave it at that.
My guess is JG thinks T.O. is going to be waived. No way his normally cautious self says what he said otherwise.
That is an interesting take. If Garrett thinks he is actually going to have to work with T.O. this year, he might not have phrased things with such an implied rebuke of the guy. Then again, it's not what Garrett thinks that matters. It's what Jerry Jones thinks, and his history is to side with the players, especially players he is attached to.