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Should The Cowboys' Jerry Jones Be Considered For Executive Of The Year?

For the public, how good a job an NFL general manager does is based for the most part on drafting and free agency. But is talent acquisition really the main thing the GM does?

Jerry Jones and John Elway
Jerry Jones and John Elway
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Every year the Sporting News polls more than 800 NFL players, coaches and executives for the NFL Executive award. Everyone votes for offensive and defensive player of the year, rookie of the year and comeback player of the year. But, only coaches and executives vote for coach of the year, coordinator of the year, executive of the year and SN’s All-Pro team.


The general manager's duties are not and should not be "talent evaluator", but for some reason it is perceived that way. The general manager is the person who usually is responsible for hiring the head coach, the scouting director, the director of player personnel, coordinating the logistics for scouting, assembling a team's roster and then getting them all on the same page.

From Walter Fooball:

The media and fans always focus on the general managers and coaches when it comes to assessing an NFL team's ability to evaluate talent. While those heads of the organization make the final decisions, they base that off of the work of their scouting staffs. Coaches don't watch college players during the season and many general managers are only loosely watching college football as they focus on their teams during the week.

It only makes sense that the true talent evaluators are the guys that watch the players as their full-time job and a general manager has way more going on, as one of the more respected general managers Scott Pioli said in this Monday Morning Quarterback article.

"I learned that the title "general manager" is actually a very accurate name for the role because of the wide variety of tasks you do every day."

Normally the better general managers are responsible for gaining consensus in order to get everyone on the same page, and this concept of gaining consensus is beginning to be recognized as one of the most important traits of a good general manager.

As Albert Breer said:

With solid early returns on young GMs like Thomas Dimitroff (Atlanta Falcons), John Schneider (Seattle Seahawks), Ryan Grigson (Indianapolis Colts), Rick Smith (Houston Texans, Trent Baalke (San Francisco 49ers), and Les Snead (St. Louis Rams), a pattern has become clear and a mold has been cast for owners: Find the consensus-builder, the unifier, the personality manager. That gives you the best chance to build what Reese and the Giants have, which is a healthy work environment for everyone.

"You have to be able to manage people, to trust people, and to trust the relationships you've built," said one NFC GM. "If you make everyone feel like they have a legitimate voice, you've got the best shot to make it work. If you start locking people out of the room, you make it difficult for them to buy in."

The consensus builder makes the most sense because the other style of "dictator" would mean that one person could decide against those that study and evaluate players all year long and could even ignore all of the front office personnel in order to move forward his agenda and ego. This type of management style is the opposite of gaining "buy-in" and the consensus style has been the in vogue style for some time now.

As was mentioned by Jeff Sullivan on a BTB podcast, Jerry has been a consensus builder since he bought the team. Sullivan confirmed that the mainstream meme of Jerry micro-managing like Al Davis did is just completely false. Jerry Jones has done an outstanding job of being a general manager this year if you are going to base that evaluation on the results of the current roster.

Getting Rolando McClain this year, signing Henry Melton to a very cap-friendly contract, letting DeMarcus Ware walk, promoting Rod Marinelli to defensive coordinator, sticking with Jason Garrett as the head coach, and letting the consensus rule when he was enamored with Johnny Manzielare all examples of how Jones is not a micro-manager, but instead brings together his staff, utilizes their talents, and finds real solutions. The fact that everyone, and I mean everyone, had this team finishing last in the division and with the worst defense in the history of the NFL in their preseason outlooks, shows just how much this team has excelled beyond everyone's expectations.

It may be that we have not seen the truly good job that Jerry has made in the past for various reasons, beginning with a rash of injuries to the front seven last year and starting with the lack of good choices for a "franchise quarterback" between Troy Aikman and Tony Romo.

So, what do you guys think? Am I drinking too much blue Kool-Aid, or do you think that if the Cowboys make a statement by winning a playoff game or two, it will be a given that Jerry should be that guy?

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