A More Realistic View of the Cowboys
The good news is that Jason Garrett isn’t afraid to get advice from anyone who might help him get the Cowboys out of the quagmire of mediocrity they’ve lived in for most of the last decade. He proved that by seeking advice from tennis legend Billie Jean King during the off-season. Garrett and King got hooked up through a mutual friend and spoke over the phone. The bad news is that King appears to be very similar to Garrett’s boss. She admitted to Jason that she loves football but doesn’t know that much about the inner-workings of the game. She should apply to be the Cowboys GM.
Garrett and the Cowboys open camp this week in Oxnard and I’m convinced that Jerry loves having camp in Southern California because it keeps him out of the heat – and by that I mean the media and fan heat – not the temperature. Oxnard and all of SoCal has been a bastion for the Cowboys going back to the early Tex Schramm/Tom Landry days. They’re so glad to see the boys in silver and blue each July that the fact they team is an 8-8 machine, doesn’t seem to bother them. Hell, L.A. wishes it had an 8-8 team, or any kind of team. When you’re O for two decades, 8-8 looks like a dynasty.
The encouraging thing about this summer’s version of the Jason and Jerry show is that instead of telling everyone all the reasons that this average team should be in the Super Bowl come next February, J&J emphasized that the team has become much younger and needs to learn how to be competitive in the NFC East. It’s an old adage in business to under promise and over deliver. That way you look great when good things happen, but not a complete failure when they don’t. No one knows this better than Jerry, so why he constantly over promised and then under delivered is baffling. Nice touch this season, take it step by step and maybe with a few breaks, a playoff berth is possible. It’s what Jerry should have been saying the past 4 years. Not the, “We’ve done a lot in the off-season and our goal is to win the Super Bowl” marketing spiel intended to sell more high dollar suites and season tickets. Even Jerry knows you can only cry wolf so often.
That new attitude and dialog is a great start to another season that seems very similar to the entire Garrett era. The truth is, the Cowboys have been close to the playoffs almost every year. Final game of the season collapses have doomed Dallas on an annual basis, but they were right there each time, and as the Giants and Ravens have proven lately, just get in and you have a chance. The Cowboys defense will have to be better than last year (Aledo High School could have been as effective as the Cowboys defense last season) so already there will be things to point to. The team unloaded some talented but aging players and now the roster is one of the youngest in the league, another positive. Nothing worse than being old and average…exactly where the Cowboys lived for most of the past decade as Jerry refused to use the “rebuilding” word.
Oxnard is home for the Cowboys for the next month and with a little luck, it’s where they’ll learn a little humility along with “all three phases of the game.” It all starts from the top.