Friday, September 10, 2010

Jerry and the Jonesettes

"Dear Lord,
Please allow this dangerous combination of hair spray, bat slobber and D.O.T. four automatic transmission fluid to excite my mind, occupy my spirits and enrage my body, provoking me to kick any man or woman in the back of the head regardless of what he or she has or has not done unto me.
All my Best..."

• So Cliff Lee missed his first start since he joined the Rangers due to back problems. Team sources said he pitched well during his rehab start and should be back in the lineup against the Yankees on Sunday. This brings up an interesting dilemma for the staff “ace.” Should he pitch lights out to show the Yankees they need him or does he continue sinking the Rangers season, one game at a time? Decisions, decisions…

• I’ve got two new nicknames for our Rangers’ pitchers. “W” or “Brolin” for Colby Lewis and “Red Dragon” for Kirkman in honor of Ralph Fiennes.

• Corey Pavin made his captain’s picks for the upcoming Ryder Cup in Wales in two weeks. There was speculation as to whether a struggling Tiger Woods would be added to the team. Pavin said it was a no brainer to add the top ranked golfer in the world along with Stewart Cink, Ricki Fowler and Zach Johnson. Meanwhile, Woods was reported as saying, “this is the best foursome since…”

• Is it just me or does the USA Basketball travel with everything but a team barber? Don’t believe me; take a look at Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry’s heads. It looks like rats sucking on cotton.

• Speaking of USA Basketball… Mavericks fans, are you ready for another disappointing season at the center position? Well you should be. Our new center, Tyson Chandler is going to give you fits and it would behoove you to watch some of these summer games to get yourself in the right frame of mind. Case in point is the seven games Chandler has played in. I said played in. He is the only 7-footer on the team and he hasn’t started a game. And making this more confounding is the fact that he has only played 72 minutes (one more than Kevin Love), has 24 rebounds (16 less than Love), 23 total points (the lowest on the team) and 15 personal fouls (second highest on the team). I have been waiting for the day we could be rid of the underachieving Eric Dampier, but so far Chandler is making Dampier look like a decent center.

• So here we are just a few days before the start of the Cowboys season and they have finally signed Miles Austin to a 6-year, $54 million contract extension. Now Cowboy fans can rest easy knowing that the contract won’t be a distraction all season. It’s good to see that hard work is rewarded handsomely. Just wish I could say the same for the team’s number three receiver, Roy E. Williams.

Any who…

So I found myself looking at the offense of the Saints in Thursday night’s season opener and had to wonder to myself what might have been.
The quick pace of the offense led by the great Drew Brees, the consistent play even when things may not have looked their best and the lack of confusion on their faces when the going got tough. There was resolve and confidence even in the face of adversity. And it’s been that way since Sean Payton rolled into New Orleans in January of 2006.
The Saints players follow the lead of their head coach. They have a never say die attitude and hold each other accountable for their actions. That is the reason they won the Super Bowl and the driving force behind the reason they have a good chance to repeat this year.
Now contrast that with the Cowboys. Their head coach is their GM and their “head coach” can actually be referred to in the plural sense as you have the Wade Phillips running the defense and Jason Garret running the offense. And often they don’t seem like they are on the same page.
Too many times during Phillips tenure, the team has looked confused, inept and dysfunctional. And the Head Coach always explains it away, never making anyone accountable for their actions. He is an apologist at best and a poor man’s politician at worst, seemingly always looking for a way to get the players to like him. So far, it doesn’t seem like it’s working.
Four years and one playoff win for DC Wade.
Four years and four playoff wins for Payton, including one championship.
Now, I don’t want to dump all over DC Wade for the team’s ineptitude. No. In fact if I need to point blame, I need to look no further than to the man who brought the stripper poles to the new stadium. The man that was so fed up will Duane Parcells that he couldn’t wait to run him and all of his recommendations out of town as soon as Parcells packed up his last box of Lorna Doones and turned the lights out in his office.
If you want to know who to blame, as if you didn’t already know, look for one Jerral Jones and leave all complaints at his doorstep.
When Parcells began his waffling in 2006, Jerral should have begun his coaching search immediately. Naturally, he should have started within the coaching staff, but Jerral does what Jerral does. He bartered with Parcells to stay, which I believe in turn, forced Payton’s hand.
When the offers came, Payton had no choice but to leave because there was no future as a Cowboy’s assistant. Hell, even if he became head coach, he would have had little if any say on his own coaching staff.
And then who’s to say that Jerral still wouldn’t have brought in Garrett anyway. If you think it’s messy and convoluted now, imagine what you would have had with two strong minded individuals on the same side of the ball. Then factor in that Jerral would be the overseer of it all and would have had to pick a side eventually (more than likely he would side with Garret because he hates his head coaches for some reason).
So we have what we have. A team as talented as any in the league and a mess for a coaching staff that can’t make a decision without it being undercut by the owner.
Three instances come to mind:
1. Bringing in Terrell Owens without the consent of the coach.
2. Trading for Roy Williams.
3. Undermining DC Wade at a team breakfast prior to the teams’ final preseason game.
The latter is the epitome of the problems with the Cowboys.
Following Dallas’ poor showing against the Texans, DC Wade said “don’t be surprised if you see a few of the starters” in the finale. You could hear the level of pisstivity in his voice. It should have gone up a few octaves when Head Coach Jones, responding to a reporter’s question, said there would be no starters in the Miami game.
Guess what happened next? Yup.
DC Wade had to walk back his comments and said only “we decided to keep them out.” No Wade, your head coach decided they weren’t going to play and you had to make sure you backed up the coach just like any good and loyal assistant would.
And that it the conundrum the Cowboys face. No matter how good they and we think they are, the Cowboys will only be as good as any dysfunctional organization can be when the stars align. And for that reason alone, I can’t see them winning more than two playoff games in any season until either Jerral relinquishes the GM role or Stephen Jones wrests it away from him.
I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.
So as fans, we should be resigned in the fate of America’s Team. We will always be next year’s champion; a title that dogged Tom Landry for the first 10 years coached the team. Only there is no silver and blue lining waiting for us on the horizon.
There is only Jerral and his quest to be Al Davis standing in the way, while the Saints, Dolphins and every other team with a former Cowboys coach honks and flips us the bird.

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