PHOTO: USA Today Sports

ARLINGTON, TX — I remember the day Jerry Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys took a lower bid because he was the only prospect that said he would fire Tom Landry. Landry had become such a deity in Dallas that other prospects were scared to death of the backlash.

Not Jerry Jones.


He interrupted Landry’s golf game to fire him. The news followed Landry as he emptied out his desk and went into retirement…just like everyone else. In Dallas, Landry wasn’t supposed to be like everyone else. Whatever anyone think of Jerry Jones now isn’t the point here.

He had the guts to do that. This was the guy who borrowed money from the Teamsters to open pizza parlors, tried to use them again to buy the Chargers when they were in the AFL, had a bunch of other failed ventures, and finally succeeded in the oil business.

Just like other entrepreneurs who failed a bunch before he succeeded, he was a silver-tongued fox with a bunch of million-dollar ideas, and he faked it till he made it…more than once.

That Jerry Jones had the guts to stick to his guns when his first year was 1-15, and the fans were ready to mutiny. That Jerry Jones hired two rebel coaches back-to-back, Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer, and got rings.

That Jerry Jones hasn’t been around in a long time.

After Switzer, his coaches have been Chan Gailey, Dave Campo, a well past his prime Bill Parcells, Wade Phillips, Jason Garrett, and Mike McCarthy. All safe choices that would never challenge his authority.

Jerry Jones’ biggest successes came from taking enormous risks and risking the chance of failure. This isn’t that Jones anymore.

This Jones just signed a $200 million dollar extension with Molson Coors to be the sole supplier of beverages at AT&T Stadium. Part of that deal is the Miller Litehouse, a new tailgate experience outside the stadium.

This is what Jerry Jones is now. He’s a money machine. He’s lobbying for sports betting in Texas, and he’ll eventually get sports betting in Texas. But to Cowboys fans, this isn’t the Jerry Jones that will win Super Bowls.

He always says that he wants to win, and I believe him, but for him to truly win, he has to bring back a little of that old Jerry Jones. That doesn’t mean he has to go poor and in debt again, but he needs to be risky.

McCarthy was a safe coaching choice…a 2007 coach in 2021. The coaching choice for someone with gumption is Kellen Moore, an offensive guru in a league that has gone that way. He’s 33 years old and has a high-flying style.

Is Jones afraid of the youth? Is he afraid the kid wins and will gain power he can’t control?

Probably.

After all those years of waiting for a ring, the Cowboys fans would turn the next coach into a powerhouse, which would take Jerry’s power away. You can’t fire this guy in this era. Jason Garrett was too milquetoast and boring to ever challenge Jerry, McCarthy is too old and near retirement.

Kellen Moore’s young and has a lot of energy. Like Jones used to have.

 

 

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