The Dallas Cowboys are quite the conundrum. Sometimes they are super fantastic, other times they are quite unpleasant. Regardless of what they show us on any given day, we can always count on them caroming their way down the path of disappointment. It’s become the new normal for fans to just expect the bottom to fall out at some point as this team has spent the last quarter of a century in purgatory.
What we would like to know is why has this organization been spinning its wheels for so long, and what would it take for them to right this ship and sail into championship waters.
It would be easy to just point the finger at Jerry Jones for all of this. It would also be correct to do so. There is not much debate about how the owner/president/general manager just hasn’t possessed the tools to make this a winning organization again after Jimmy Johnson left the Cowboys. He knows how to sell tickets, he knows how to make splashes, and he knows how to get close; however, what he doesn’t know how to do is close the deal.
Rabblerousr and I discussed this entire idea on the latest episode of The Star Seminar on the Blogging The Boys podcast network with special guest Rafel Vila. Make sure to subscribe to our network so you don’t miss any of our episodes! Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.
Why not? What is this front office doing wrong that keeps us shaking our heads year in and year out? This was the topic of our conversation on this week’s episode of The Star Seminar, where Rabblerousr and I had former BTB writer Rafael Vela come on the show to dissect this problem. Make sure to check out the full discussion.
Rafael has been following the Cowboys a long time and, whether by desire or pure obsession, has devoted countless hours trying to understand how this football team ticks. Here are a few things we learned through our conversation with him as we attempted to figure out the Cowboys' failures since their last Super Bowl.
They create a culture of comfort
The Cowboys are a circus. Whether it’s a new player or a new coach, making the decision to play for this organization means they have to be prepared for a media frenzy like no other. But like a circus, there are big lights, lots of attractions, and a fun-filled atmosphere that puts a smile on your face. That is unless winning makes you smile.
All the fireworks that come with being a part of the Cowboys are huge impediments to creating a winning culture. When the Joneses are part of the coach's meetings or a celebrity/dignitary is hanging out in the locker room, it’s clear this isn’t your ordinary organization. It’s hard to create a culture of winning when there are so many non-football things going on around you and players aren’t provided the right environment.
Getting close breeds confidence
The Cowboys haven’t been a complete failure by any means. And there are many other franchises who struggle way more than the Cowboys. Unfortunately for this organization, moderate success has created a belief that this front office can reach the promised land. After all, they must be doing something right to have winning seasons and making playoff appearances, right?
The answer is yes, they are doing some things right. But their short-term success is a façade and ultimately they find out that their approach is not sustainable for the long haul. So, what happens? They falter the following season and go back and forth between winning and losing. There’s a reason this team hasn’t made back-to-back postseason appearances since 2007.
They are bad at self-assessments
One of the more frustrating things about this organization is that they are always changing their approach. When something goes south, they start doing the opposite. They went from being reckless in trading away draft picks to becoming super stingy trading away draft picks. They went from overspending in free agency to spending almost nothing in free agency. They even let All-Pro running back DeMarco Murray walk in free agency only to turn around and give All-Pro running back Ezekiel Elliott a huge second contract. And this year, players like Amari Cooper and DeMarcus Lawrence, who they traded to get and gave them big extensions, have suddenly become potential cap casualties? It’s as if this front office doesn’t know what they want to do.
A big reason for that is because they don’t know how to properly evaluate themselves. They are in denial about some of their weaknesses where they’ll go years and years without committing viable resources at certain positions. And far too often, they’ll drink their own kool-aid and start believing they are better than they are. That leads to them sitting on their hands and not attacking when an opportunity to make a serious push is there.
What do you think are the reasons this team continues to stall out? Make sure to check out the full interview with Raf.