At one point it was a guarantee. Before the Jason Garrett era, which brought an unprecedented amount of patience from the league’s most powerful boss, Jones would make for one of his beautiful performances: a ballet of obscure threats and bold assurances about the talent at which He will gather. The roster and why it wasn’t working the way it should. The Cowboys were not allowed to spoil. At another time, in another place, they certainly were not allowed to happen 23 lost to division rival Washington team bad.
It would be fascinating to have a place inside Dallas’s Central Brain Trust right now, as they assess both their surroundings and what they look like over the next few years. Leke’s football world would probably give him a pass when Dak Prescott went down with a dislocated ankle (and on Sunday, backup Andy Dalton was ruled out of the game with a head injury in the third quarter), but the biggest Jones. Not playing is a long game. Mike McCarthy was one of the Rent Assurances. He arrived with Super Bowl credentials and a season spent (they say) on the cutting edge of football. Given the number of coaches available after Garrett was sacked, Jones’ thought process was as transparent as it could get.
And now, here they are at 2-5. Some strongholds of locker room discord are whispering. The crime, despite some promise, looks back when Kellen Moore emerged as one of the game’s great young playwrights a year ago, dated and afraid of her own shadow. The Ezekiel Elliott contract gets heavier with each passing week, dragging the team and its final cap flexibility into the mire. Defense is the worst in football. McCarthy has given his grand acquaintance to any of the press conference promises, not to mention even a mass promise of pieces of media hype that sent him back to the coaching carousel.
Had it not been for the emergence of rogue wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and the beginning of his torment, there would be almost nothing to take from this ugly pile of seasons. Lamb caught zero catches today.
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After the debris was removed this season, the Cowboys would enter a completely ruthless assessment without their most important offensive player on the defensive side of football and under contract. Prescott, too, could still work on some nebulous recovery timetables only to be removed from a severely broken ankle in a few months. Players may not like coaches. The once-washed offensive line becomes another year old, requiring regular upkeep and, ultimately, comes after so many miles.
Is it fair to say that old Jones would have come up with a fire-fighting and exit strategy by now? Is it fair to say that if the postgame locker room interviews had not been completely virtual this season, he would have lurched through the door waiting for the cameras falcon to broadcast his displeasure? Are we talking about McCarthy’s one-off candidate without adding immediately Wouldn’t that be?
Although much has been made about Jones’ immediate personal quest for another Super Bowl, and perhaps another dynasty as he crawls into his eighties, the timetable on this Cowboys roster is fast-paced. Very little has been written about – one Jones may have felt he gave her. The best chance of achieving the said goal, while keeping an active presence with the franchise. What happens now that it has become clear that McCarthy with enough backup quarterbacks cannot deliver even among the most pathetic seasons for the NFC East in division history?
What will the new Jerry Jones do, and how much is he ready to be like the old Jerry Jones?