Sports

‘This is not Excuse City,’ Jones says of Cowboys’ struggles, listing excuses

6 potential pitfalls of Roth IRA Conversions

When someone throws out a line like, “I don’t want to start trouble, but…” or, “Not to be negative, but…” it’s a pretty safe bet what’s coming next.

When Cowboys owner Jerry Jones phoned in to Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan for his usual Friday Q&A segment, he was tossed an opening warm-up pitch about who he had been rooting for in Thursday night’s Giants-Eagles game. His answer started out with Philadelphia and New York and Jason Garrett and the NFC East, but then took a hard left turn.

Jones rambled for over four minutes. He touched on a rash of injuries affecting the roster’s biggest financial investments, bemoaned the team’s clear and obvious turnover problem putting them in early holes in multiple games this season, and lamented the lack of extra preseason prep work that would have been afforded new coach Mike McCarthy and his staff in a non-pandemic season.

But he saved the qualifying kicker for the end.

“This is not Excuse City this morning,” Jones told the K&C Masterpiece Show hosts. “I’m just pointing at some things when I look at this team.”

I don’t want to make excuses, but…

To be clear, Jones wasn’t asked why the team is off to such a disappointing start. It wasn’t a troubleshooting conversation. The outspoken owner and chief mouthpiece of the organization had that list of yeah-buts ready to go- with supporting stats and everything- and threw them out on the table at literally the first chance he got in his weekly radio appearance.

Cowboys fans are tired of hearing the excuses.

But deep down, Jones isn’t wrong in where he laid a good chunk of the blame.

Injuries have taken a devastating toll on the 2020 Cowboys and left a mere shell of the team that everyone thought would be lining up on Sundays. Gerald McCoy. La’el Collins. Blake Jarwin. Tyron Smith. Dak Prescott. Trysten Hill. Those are just the guys now out for the season; the list of players missing games here and there is a long one. It grew by one more on Friday.

“We probably won’t have Zack Martin,” Jones confirmed. “If we don’t have him, we’re going to be playing with about 60% of our salary cap dollars Sunday. About 60%. That’s what’s out on the field. In the case of the tackles, and the case of your quarterback, the case of Martin, those are challenges for us. [Are] Other teams having them? You bet.”

Mike McCarthy has implied that the team’s current injury situation is as bad as he’s ever experienced as a head coach in the NFL, but he’d be the first to say (as Jones did, to be fair) that it’s something every team deals with to a degree every season.

The 2020 Cowboys have simply not adjusted well to it.

Jones also dwelled on that missing practice time that new coaches are supposed to get in the summer, as well as the shortened training camp and the scrapped preseason schedule.

“When a new coach comes in,” Jones reminded, “we give him extra weeks with the team. We always do. Extra days. Maybe as much as ten days, two weeks of solid practice. And then we, of course, count on, as we always should, a complete training camp, spring training, and then go on into the season with the preparation. If you look at all the new coaches in this league this year, they’re rocking along at an average of about 20% wins. And those are the new guys who came in with their new group, made up of free agents as well as the players that were there of the teams that they took over. And, so our knowledge of our game knows that it’s always better if a new coach can spend some time with his team.”

True, COVID-19 didn’t do McCarthy and his staff of newbies any favors as they lost time that would have been spent getting to know players and implementing new schemes. But everyone everywhere had their summer rearranged. Several teams are even now having in-season practices and official games canceled and rescheduled due to the virus, throwing into their plans massive wrenches that the Cowboys haven’t even had to think about.

Complaints about the abbreviated OTA itinerary almost four months after the fact is sure to fall on deaf ears around the Dallas fanbase.

And yes, Jones brought up the turnover bugaboo. Some of those giveaways came on fluky plays, literal bad bounces that could have just as easily gone the other way. But again, that’s part of football. The good teams can overcome it. The Cowboys have not.

For Jones to rattle off a laundry list of excuses while claiming to not be making excuses is the Cowboys front office in a nutshell. And it’s the way he’s always done it. Jones is the ultimate salesman, the quintessential spin doctor. After all, there are stadium seats that need butts in them and there are jerseys in the pro shop that need selling. There are TV ratings to rake in and there’s the Cowboys hype machine to promote for at least ten more weeks.

The sky may be falling most Sundays, but by Friday, everything is always sunny at The Star in Frisco again.

It’s wearing thin with frustrated fans… and also the media covering the team.

The Sport Junkies from DC radio station 106.7 The Fan had a Friday morning crosstalk with Shan and RJ from Dallas’s 105.3 The Fan, and the topic of Jones’s regular interview access came up.

“He’s nauseatingly naive and positive,” Shan Sheriff said, according to Mike DePrisco of NBC Sports Washington. “You know, you’ve gotta come on here and sell it still, but him and his son come on here four times- I’m probably gonna get in a lot of trouble for this, but- they come on here four times during the course of the week. And we just want a little bit of reality, like a little bit of anger, but they just keep coming on… ‘We gotta execute better. We got the players here, we don’t need any outside help. It’s us. We’re shooting ourselves.’

“They sound delusional in our interviews. I know part of it is selling it, but it’s maddening.”

Jones continues to sell it. He declared a divisional crown as “definitely the goal” despite the horrendous start to the season, waxing poetic about how the team’s struggles and adjustments to the current tough times are a microcosm of what all American families and businesses and society in general is going through these days.

He raved about offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and effused about McCarthy’s imprint on every aspect of the team and re-emphasized his own confidence and belief in the Super Bowl-winning coach.

He ripped the credence being given this week to anonymous locker room reports citing doubt, skepticism, and infighting between coaches and staff.

He seemed to call into question the credibility of the nationally-recognized team reporter who made the story public.

He expressed his faith in the current roster while leaving the door open (always) to potentially adding pieces to the puzzle via trade.

He glowed about Randy Gregory’s return to action, a true feel-good story about personal redemption, recovery, and perseverance.

He even ended with an enthusiastic rallying cry for Washington week. His parting shot hearkened back to the team’s dynasty days, recalling, “Nate Newton said it the best almost 30 years ago. ‘Let’s go up there and give them some capital punishment.’”

Insert riotous laughter and high-fives here.

“They sound delusional in our interviews. I know part of it is selling it, but it’s maddening.”

The team is playing some of the worst football seen in years, and the owner is still taking that 2-4 star and polishing it to an absolute spit-shine.

It’s maddening indeed. For everyone in Cowboys Nation.

Like this article?

Sign up for the Cowboys Wire email newsletter to get our top stories in your inbox every morning

An error has occured

Please re-enter your email address.

Thanks for signing up!

You’ll now receive the top Cowboys Wire stories each day directly in your inbox.

mm

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

About the author

mm

Christine Watkins

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ads by Google