Stuck in Dysfunction


Yesterday, we learned that the Cowboys’ sack leader in 2013 is off to the Washington Redskins via free agency. Their all-time sack leader signed with the Denver Broncos on Wednesday after being cut loose by Dallas to give salary cap relief.

Jason Hatcher

Yes, Jason Hatcher and DeMarcus Ware are gone. Quick, can you name ANY other Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman?

Yeah, I didn’t think so. Although if you said Terrell McClain or Jeremy Mincey (both signed as free agents on Wednesday), you’re either a super fan who has no life because all you do is memorize all 32 teams’ depth charts or you’re cousin to one of them and he called you yesterday with big news.

“Hey man, the Cowboys just signed me!”

Tremendous. Order up the Super Bowl rings.

Word has it that the Cowboys also have a strong interest in former Chicago Bear DT Henry Melton. Who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament this past season. But, hey, on the bright side his agent says he just started running.

And yes, Melton is considered by many to be the best D-lineman still on the market. Puts a new spin on the term, “limited supply remains.”

Seriously, we may have to revive the name “Doomsday” for the 2014 Dallas defense. No, really. This could spell doomsday for this squad, as if 2013 wasn’t bad enough.

It’s not that I blame Jerry Jones for cutting Ware. I get that. It was a tough decision that had to be made to get under the cap.

The thing I can’t get over – why in the world are the Dallas Cowboys ALWAYS over the cap at this time of year? This is the third straight year for Jerry to have to turn to restructuring contracts and/or releasing players just to get under the cap prior to free agency. And that doesn’t include taking care of the draft picks yet.

Meanwhile, the Oakland Raiders have approximately $66 million in cap space. The Cowboys won four more games than the Raiders and (before the Ware cut and other moves) were more than $18 million OVER the cap.

The fact is – Jerry has been operating like a bad household deals with credit card debt – let’s just put this debt on another credit card and deal with it later. Dave Ramsey would be proud (good thing he’s a Titans fan). Jerry’s restructured every contract in the organization. Even Rowdy was asked to delay some of his salary (the annoying mascot is now under contract through the 2048 season).

The man has redefined dysfunctional with his moves on the coaching staff. Last year, Jerry goes out and hires Monty Kiffin as defensive coordinator and takes the play-calling duties away from his head coach. Kiffin is a 4-3 guy. That’s a good idea; let’s implement a new system on defense, taking space away from our best pass rusher by making him play defensive end. Ware does his best damage in a 3-4 defense. It is no wonder that he had a career-low six sacks last season.

Meanwhile, Jerry better hope that the 2014 draft produces some good, young defensive linemen. Because, well, we all know how good Jerry’s track record is at drafting young talent.

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Rob Scichili (shick-lee) has worked in professional sports for over 24 years in PR and communications, including time with the Dallas Stars, Anaheim Ducks,, Minnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks. A journalism graduate of Texas A&M, he is co-owner and editor at ScoreboardTx, principal at Shick Communications and VP at Franchise Sports & Entertainment while serving on the board of the Mike Modano Foundation.