One silly little phone conversation was all it took to send this pipe dream into the stratosphere of where things like unicorns and Santa Claus exist. Yet, that brief conversation did exist at the end of a George Strait concert according to an Outside The Lines expose of Jerry Jones last summer. Don Van Natta Jr. wrote that Jerry was handed a phone and told that AP was on the other end.
"Well, I understand, Adrian," Jones told Peterson during the call, per Van Natta. "I'd like that, too ... Well, I love your story. I love your daddy's story. I've always respected what you've been about. I've always been a fan of yours."
"Well, we'll see what we can do, if we can make that happen," Jones told Peterson, per Van Natta. "Hmm hmm ... I'd like that, too ... Well, we're talking pig Latin here, but let's see if we can do that ... We're talking pig Latin here, but let's see what we can do about that. OK, Adrian, thanks."
That was enough to get the water boiling on local radio platforms and the discussion has never ceased since. The one caveat that is often dismissed is that Peterson is under contract with the Minnesota Vikings. In fact, Peterson enters 2015 in the fifth-year of a $100 million deal and is set to earn $12.75 this season. Unfortunately for Peterson, he was brought to court on child abuse charges and missed all of last season. After he won his appeal and was reinstated to the league earlier this offseason, that's when this story took on an even more bizarre life of it's own.
You couldn't find a platform that wasn't trying to make this a reality for the Cowboys. Once free agency was underway and DeMarco Murray left for an average of $8 million per year in Philadelphia, it was as if the stars were aligning for such a coup. However, many of these pundits failed to realize that the leverage remained with the Minnesota Vikings. So to speed things up, now the All-Pro running back is back at Vikings OTA's taking part in his team's offseason program. However, never say die is the mantra of many folks out there in unicorn land. This brings me to the article that was posted on Dallas Morning News by their longtime Cowboys' insider Tim Cowlishaw. In his column, Tim's title says it all...Adrian Peterson's Vikings reunion has to be seen as a Cowboys failure.
Really? Why? Is it because the Cowboys understood all along that this was more of wishful thinking than any inkling of reality? Jerry said so himself that "we're talking in pig-latin here...." Cowlishaw writes:
"So we should not ignore the Dallas Cowboys' great failure of the 2015 offseason. And that is the realization that Adrian Peterson isn't coming."
"It was a long shot when it was nothing more than a phone conversation Peterson had with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones during a George Strait concert in the summer of 2014. It became more realistic when Peterson's agent, Ben Dogra, fought (literally) with Vikings management and declared his client was leaving."
It's a bit of a misguided opinion when you look at all the intricacies that are involved. Ben Dogra as an agent will certainly go to bat for his clients but getting the six-time Pro Bowler completely out of his deal is miracle work. The only real shot of any of this becoming remotely conceivable would be to hold-out.
So Peterson was advised to do so and he did but it wasn't ever going anywhere. He may have been upset with the way his situation was handled but I will say again...he's under contract. That's the simple fact of the matter and no threats of retirement or anything of that nature was changing that. Cowlishaw goes on to point that the Cowboys we're making moves in order to secure Peterson:
"And it means the Cowboys' one and only chance in 2015 to upgrade in the post-DeMarco Murray era is gone."
"But the Cowboys' actions said this was a time to go for it and that they were willing. You don't go out and sign Greg Hardy and deal with that considerable baggage unless you are going for it. There are several reasons the team never reached a long-term deal with Dez Bryant, but by placing the franchise tag on him for a one-year contract, that's another way of placing a special emphasis on this particular season — force your best player to adopt a mentality of "the time is now.''
This is exactly as it sounds; speculation. The Cowboys share a notion with many of the other NFL clubs that they we're simply not paying premium dollars for a running back, especially one they just rode for 1,845 yards. They offered DeMarco Murray what they were willing to pay him, Murray declined and moved on. It would be more accurate to point at the Cowboys strong belief in their offensive line as their primary focus than the acquisition of an AP-caliber player. Cowlishaw adds:
"Is this offensive line truly so special that the team can low-ball Murray and be happy to work with his former backup Joseph Randle and former Raider Darren McFadden?"
The only logical answer is the front office feels as though they are special enough to have similar success. One contributor to that notion is the 847 yards that Murray earned last season before he was even touched. It's one thing to miss Murray's production, it's completely another to assume that Peterson was the definitive Cowboys' target all along. Vikings' coach Mike Zimmer made it plain and clear when he said Peterson will either play for the Vikings or play for nobody. To accuse Dallas of failing their offseason for not acquiring a contractually obligated player just seems a bit ridiculous and unfounded. However, such is everything when in the bizarro-world.