At 2-5, the Dallas Cowboys are causing a lot of unease and anxiety. The players have felt it based on their earlier griping concerning the coaches. The coaches must be feeling based on Mike McCarthy taking a swipe at his team’s passive nature when Andy Dalton went down. The fans are definitely feeling it based on many reactions we have seen on this site. And now, even Jerry Jones, one of the most optimistic people around, is feeling it.
On his radio show, he took exception to some prodding about leadership on the team.
He was questioned about the potential leadership void in the locker room, a fair inquiry given the shortage of healthy Cowboys players on the field during Sunday’s loss to the Washington Football Team who consistently walk the walk and talk the talk.
“Where would you have a leadership void?” Jones said. “Is it an experience void? Is it a talent void? Is it a leadership void? I’m not trying to be cute here. The answer is no. The answer is no. Well, let’s shut up and let me answer it. No.”
He cut off a follow-up question about what he sees when walking into the locker room.
“You’re not asking me that,” Jones said. “I gave you the answer. When I go into the locker room, there’s no leadership void in my eyes. Now, that’s your answer. Let’s move on.”
It’s never a good look when you tell the hosts of your radio show to shut up because they are hitting a sore spot. Jones later apologized to them.
“Hey, men, if I were a little abrupt there, then I really don’t want to have our days start that way,” Jones said. “You’re good men for that. This certainly isn’t my most tactful time, if you might say, with this thing as we discuss these matters. I’m disappointed for our fans. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am. It was not the plan at all. We certainly want to point to things, but they’re not excuses.”
While it might be a little fun to see Jerry getting upset about the situation, both he and Stephen appear to be fully backing what Mike McCarthy is doing and are looking at this with a long-term view.
“One of the reasons Mike McCarthy is the coach is because he’s been through it,” Jones said. “He’s had tough times and he’s had disappointing times. ... Certainly we couldn’t have wanted to be at this stage with our team this year, but if I’m going to hire a coach that will be at this stage and work through this for the betterment for the rest of the year and for what’s in the future, I’ve got my man.”
“You wanted someone in case the you-know-what hit the fan that had the credibility and had the doability to do what? Stand tall and strong as the head coach. And he’s doing that,” Jones said. “In answer to your question, he’s doing that in the face of adversity.”
He also spoke about his own role in the current debacle:
Jones was asked how much blame he deserves as general manager for the Cowboys’ record.
“As much as you give me when you’re talking about how great the talent is,” Jones said. “I think you basically step up there that it’s a joint effort, has been forever. And it’s a joint effort, have a lot of input, have input from some of the best there are in terms of opinions, in terms of deciding what to do. Have lived a life of being able to determine when there’s too much input, but don’t confuse the ultimate decision with just a single-minded decision.
“That’s not the way it works. Never has worked that way. Didn’t work that way from the first day I walked through this door. And I’ve had the last say on everything since I bought the team in 1989. Period.”
At this point, you would expect Cowboys management to back their coach and try to put a focus on the longer view. There’s not much else they can do with a team playing at this level. But, if things keep deteriorating over the next few weeks, and some of the star players get vocal about their discontent, all bets are off.
One thing Jerry and Stephen have to keep an eye on is signing Dak Prescott after the season. They need something stable and with promise to show Prescott, or he might start making noise about possibly playing elsewhere.
The Cowboys are in a very precarious position right now.