What a remarkable duplicity of events. The Cowboys rang in the 2009 offseason with a 44-6 beatdown at the hands of the Eagles. This year we're ringing in the offseason with a 45-7 beatdown at the hands of the Packers. Except this year, as many on this board have commented, we still have eight games left to go.
After the 2008 season, the changes that were made were cosmetic at best. With the benefit of hindsight, that was clearly a missed opportunity. Then again, last season did see this team finally win a playoff game, but the team again rang in the offseason with a 34-3 beatdown by the Vikings. Notice a trend here?
This year, Jerry Jones promises more dramatic changes:
"I think there are a lot of people here that certainly are going to suffer and suffer the consequences," Jones said. "I'm talking within the team, players, coaches."
[...] "I think everybody in this country would agree there's a lot wrong with this team. We've got to address them and certainly I'm the one to address them."
In times like these, when you're facing hard choices and need to make any number of important decisions, sometimes the best way to get the process started is to ask a very simple question. Today we ask: What would Jimmy Johnson do?
Troy Aikman just recently reflected on what the success model of the Cowboys is (or was), and obviously a big part of the Cowboys success was Jimmy Johnson. For argument's sake, let's assume Jerry Jones brings back the ca. 1989 Jimmy Johnson to run the Cowboys as of today. What Would Jimmy Do?
1. Which players would be looking for a new job tomorrow?
If Jimmy Johnson were to come in today, he'd have a pretty good idea of which players to keep on board and which players would get the boot. To quick-start the change process this team needs, he'd probably start churning the bottom of the roster immediately to send a message to the team and get their attention. Who is the 2010 equivalent of Curvin Richards?
2. Who's the 2010 Hershel Walker?
For simplicity sake, let's assume that the CBA is resolved in time and there will actually be a 2011 season. Which Cowboys stars on this team would Jimmy trade to shore up other parts of the team? Start thinking from the very top. No taboos. Romo, Ware, Witten, Austin, Ratliff or any of the other top players. Which one of these players, if traded, could positively impact the future of the franchise with the resulting trade bounty?
3. Which coaches will 'suffer the consequences'
Jimmy Johnson was a demanding coach, but also a demanding and hard-headed superior for his assistants. Which assistants get to stay or is this an everyone-must-go assistant fire-sale?
4. The writing is on the wall for these players
We noted yesterday that the Packers game kicks off a nine-game audition process process for the players to show the new coaching staff that they should be part of the 2011 Cowboys team. Definitely not a good start for about 50 of 53 players. Which players would Jimmy Johnson get all biblical on ("Thou art weighed and art found wanting")? Which of the big name players stay, which go? What core players are you rebuilding the offense and defense around?
The Cowboys are scheduled for a radical makeover. Answer these questions and you may have a better idea of how this shipwreck can be made seaworthy again. Leave, and discuss, your answers in the comments section below.