Recently there was an interesting article by PFF where they rank the GMs that have run a front office since at least 2021.
Surprisingly to most, they put Jerry Jones in Tier 1, at the bottom, but still Tier 1. That makes him a top 10 GM according to PFF. This raised interesting questions for me. Is all the ire of Cowboys fans directed at Jerry Jones due to our obsession over the lack of a title game appearance misplaced? Is Jones scapegoated too much for things that are beyond organizational control? What is more important- championships or stability? Or perhaps a better way to put it is- how much stability should be sacrificed in the name of chasing a championship?
Some fans claim 15-1 or 1-15, it doesn't matter in the end if you don't win a championship. But in actuality having endured not many losing seasons over the last 25+ years, are they really prepared to go, say like the Jets, 12 years straight and counting of no playoffs and mostly horrendous losing seasons?
I posted my thoughts in the comments to one of the articles but posted late and expect my post to be buried there, so I'm mostly reposting it here to hopefully get some feedback and thoughts, to the questions above and below.
... Cowboys fans' emotional attachment to the championship drought distorts our appraisal. It's just not as important to outside observers. PFF is obviously assigning a great deal of importance to organizational stability, and the Cowboys have had very few losing seasons under Jones' tenure as GM. In their view he's running a good process that probably should have resulted in more playoff success, but just hasn't for whatever reason. They do fault the organization for not extending players early in the past, but seem to think that maybe they're turning that corner with the early extension of Diggs. (We'll see, I'm not convinced myself). This organization has definitely endured its share of bad luck (e.g. Diggs getting hurt, Jaylon Smith' recovery from injury not holding) and playoff weirdness.
Jerry and his front office certainly have not been perfect, that's for sure, and some of their decisions have had some very negative consequences for the club. But they are far from the only front office in the league to have missteps. Luck really does have a major part to play in it, when all is said and done. Where was Cincinnati before they had the opportunity to draft Joe Burrow? This is another family-run team that received very similar criticism to the Jones family about how the team could never succeed being run that way. And one franchise qb later they practically live in the AFCCG. What if the Eagles hadn't had the chance to draft Jalen Hurts? What if Brock Purdy hadn't been sitting there at the end of the draft for the 49ers? What if the Rams all-in gamble hadn't worked? Fortunately for them, they got positive answers to those questions.
Here's some more questions. What if DeMarco Murray hadn't had a freak fumble going through a hole so big he might have scored and broke the game open? What if Dez had completed the process to the ground? What if Aaron Rodgers hadn't made one of the most incredible throws of his career, and Jared Cook the best catch of his career? What if we had been able slow the Rams running attack at all? What if Dak had slid a few yards earlier? What if Trevon Diggs had snagged that deflected pass in the red zone, and Fred Warner had dropped his? What if Dak had hit an open Ceedee Lamb for a TD from deep in his own territory late in the game? What if the offense had scored a touchdown instead of just a FG after a momentum-killing three and out after the fumbled kickoff return, the only great play we ever got from Bossman Fat? What if the answers to any of these questions had been positive? You can't tell me luck doesn't have a part to play in it. And we most definitely have not caught many breaks.
So for me, this analysis from PFF is very interesting because they're basically saying they think the current process of Jerry Jones for the team's front office is very solid, one of the best in fact, and if we hold to the course we should start seeing the ball bounce our way finally. It definitely gives me pause and reason to rethink some old conclusions. Maybe we're not as far away as we might fear.