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Is it a good idea for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to also be GM?

November 07, 2012
  • Jerry Jones has served as the Dallas Cowboys' general manager almost as long as he has owned the team.
Jerry Jones has served as the Dallas Cowboys' general manager almost… (Tom Pennington / Getty Images )

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones recently said that he would not fire his general manager even though the team is 3-5 and in danger of missing the playoffs for the third straight year.

His reason for not firing the person who put together this team? That person is him.

Writers from around the Tribune Co. will discuss just how far the Cowboys can go with Jones as their general manager. Check back throughout the day for more responses and join the conversation by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.

Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times

Legendary Cowboys GM Tex Schramm left the Rams for Dallas on one condition: There would be a strict hierarchy in place, whereby the players could go only as high as the coach for their complaints or concerns, the coach could go only as high as the GM, and it was the GM who dealt with the owner.

Likewise, the owner could talk only to the GM, the GM could talk only to the coach, and it was the coach who talked to the players. Worked like a charm, and the Cowboys enjoyed terrific success.

Jerry Jones has his definite strengths, but when he has too much of an influence on what happens on the field, we can never tell if it’s Jerry as football man, or Jerry as P.T. Barnum. For instance, did he draft Dez Bryant because it was the best football move, or because it was the sexiest move? Unlikely that it was both. Jerry was spoiled by Troy Aikman, and after Aikman's retirement the Cowboys spent the subsequent years trying to get lucky with quarterback dice rolls -- Quincy Carter, Chad Hutchinson, Ryan Leaf, Vinny Testaverde, Drew Bledsoe -- so when Tony Romo came along and had some success, they were skittish about making a change and have been since.

They are risk averse, the antithesis of what Jerry is as a businessman. With a real GM, one who has the rare ability to evaluate talent (particularly quarterback talent), the Cowboys could rebuild the elite franchise they had through the '70s and '80s. But don’t hold your breath; Jerry isn’t going anywhere, and he’ll continue to chase the success he had in his first years of ownership.

Aaron Wilson, Baltimore Sun

The myth that flamboyant Cowboys owner Jerry Jones tries to perpetuate goes something like this:

Former Arkansas guard, self-made billionaire and boss of "America's Team," actually has it all figured out. Well, not so fast.

Bill Parcells acquired a lot of talent still on the roster, and Jones still has plenty of competent, low-key football people advising him behind the scenes.

Can the Cowboys keep climbing with Jones running the show? Yes, and no.

It all depends how he delegates when cameras aren't watching. So much of what Jones is about is hype and glitz.

The real heavy lifting? Done by real football guys.

The rich guy, Jones, hogs the credit, blame and always the spotlight. Jerry's a superstar, just ask him.

[Updated at 1:42 p.m.:

Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune

Jerry Jones may not be the NFL executive of the year, but he isn’t anybody’s idiot. He is one of the richest men in the world and has turned the Cowboys into the most valuable property in American sports.

Under Jones’ watch, the Cowboys found Tony Romo as an undrafted free agent. They chose DeMarcus Ware with the 11th pick in the draft. He had the foresight to hire Jimmy Johnson. He subjugated his ego when he named Bill Parcells head coach. And he built the stadium that is the envy of every team in the NFL.

The point is, he is a smart enough business man to make things work, even if they aren’t working very well at the moment.

Omar Kelly, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

When you own something you have the right to do with it as you please.

Jerry Jones has been exercising his right to run the Dallas Cowboys like an NFL fantasy team, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with his approach when he’s winning.

So there shouldn’t be an issue now that Dallas is losing.

Jones ability to draft and lure talent isn’t the issue. He didn’t get Demarco Murray hurt. He isn’t throwing interceptions, Tony Romo is. Jones isn’t being outcoached most Sundays. That’s Jason Garrett.

Nobody complained when Jones drafted Dez Bryant in the first-round of the 2010 draft. He was a steal when the Cowboys got the talented but troubled receiver with the 24th pick. Now all of a sudden Jones is the problem because Bryant is struggling?

Finding someone else to run the team, pick the players and the head coach, isn’t the issue. The issue is getting better players and a better coach. There’s a long list of teams with those same needs.]


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