Tag Archives: Dallas Cowboys

Hall of Fame awaits Coach Johnson … how about Ring of Honor?

I cannot believe I am going to write these next few sentences, but here goes.

Former Dallas Cowboys head football coach Jimmy Johnson should be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor … now that he is heading for enshrinement into the Pro Football of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Johnson’s stint as Cowboys’ coach was brief, but it was, um, highly productive. He coached the team to two Super Bowl victories in the 1990s. Then he mouthed off to his boss, owner/general manager Jerry Jones, who fired him.

The men once were friends, teammates at the University of Arkansas. Jones hired Johnson — a native of Port Arthur, Texas and a high school classmate of (get ready for this!) Janis Joplin — after purchasing the Cowboys and firing legendary coach Tom Landry. It was thought to be a marriage made in football heaven.

Hah! It didn’t last.

So now Johnson is going to be honored with a plaque and a statue, and he will get to wear a mustard-colored blazer at the televised induction ceremony in Canton.

He doesn’t yet have his name inscribed on the Ring of Honor at AT&T Stadium. He deserves the honor.

C’mon, Jerry Jones. Do the right thing, just as you did when you agreed to put Tom Landry’s name up there.

There. That wasn’t so painful after all, even for someone — such as me — who is no fan of the Cowboys or certainly of the team’s egomaniac owner.

Cowboys find a winner to replace Garrett

First, I’ll declare this: I didn’t always hate the Dallas Cowboys.

Those of us of a certain age remember when the then-upstart Cowboys sought to knock off the Vince Lombardi-coached Green Bay Packers while fighting for the NFL championship. The Ice Bowl of 1967? I remember it well. My home boy Mel Renfro, the Hall of Fame Cowboys safety, suffered frostbite in that classic contest at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

So, then the Cowboys started to win and got too big for their britches.

But they had that history with the Packers … which brings me to my point. The Cowboys have hired a good guy to coach them in the wake of the demise of the Jason Garrett era. Mike McCarthy has won a Super Bowl — which coaching the Packers.

Do I want them to win it all? Am I now going to cheer myself hoarse rooting for the Cowboys? Hah! Not even!

I just want to declare that the Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones has made a good hire.

Now the owner ought to take the next step. He ought to just sit up there in the owner’s box during the games and not get involved in football matters. He should hire a real GM, someone with actual football knowledge and let the GM deal with the nuts and bolts of whether Coach McCarthy is doing a credible job calling plays.

The rest of the scenario isn’t likely to occur, given the owner’s monumental ego, but I believe he has made a good call in hiring Mike McCarthy.

Cowboys’ coach is out … finally!

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

That went well, yes? Well, no. It didn’t.

Jason Garrett has been booted as the Dallas Cowboys head football coach. The Cowboys have told Garrett his contract won’t be renewed. He’s out of a job.

However, all of this is coming from media reports. The Cowboys’ ownership hasn’t made a formal announcement just yet.

Jumpin’ jiminy. The owner of the NFL franchise, Jerry Jones, has made a mess of it. No surprise there. The owner operates on a clumsiness quotient that has virtually no rival in the National Football League.

I won’t get into the Xs and Os of the job Garrett did. I don’t know enough about football to speak intelligently about it. He won more games than he lost. He just didn’t win any Super Bowl games during his time as coach. That’s the benchmark for success in Jerry Jones’ world. To be fair, Jones isn’t the only pro sports franchise owner who cherishes league championships.

However, I just hate that Garrett had to be called the Cowboys’ head coach while the owner/general manager was interviewing prospective successors. He didn’t deserve to be disrespected in that manner.

As for whoever dons the coach’s headset next year and beyond, I hope he’s ready to deal with an owner who thinks he enough about pro football to act as a general manager, which to my way of thinking requires a skill set a zillionaire businessman just doesn’t possess.

Owner/GM needs to fire himself, but he won’t

The owner/general manager of the Dallas Cowboys football team is making a spectacle of himself — no surprise there! — as the media ponder his next coaching move.

Jerry Jones is the owner of the NFL team. He is likely to fire head coach Jason Garrett, whose contract expired when time ran out at the end of Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins. The Cowboys won the game but aren’t going to the league playoffs.

Garrett is going to leave the team he has coached. Jones will find someone else.

But the owner/GM is going to make it all about him as he postures, preens and pontificates about how he intends to make the Cowboys great again. Does that sound like someone else in the news? Well, sure it does.

Jones is entitled to own the team. I don’t begrudge him that. I just wish he would be a more “conventional” pro sports team owner: sit in the shadows, pay the salaries of your executives, let a real general manager make football decisions such as hiring a coach.

The owner need not get mixed up in the middle of running a pro football team. It’s way more complicated than making all that money to buy the team in the first place.

Hmm. Does that also sound like anyone we know, too?

Let the football gurus rebuild the team, Mr. Franchise Owner

I am going to delve into a subject about which I know nothing … which is no surprise, I guess, to critics of High Plains Blogger.

Still, here goes my foray into what I think is best for a pro football franchise that is the talk of the region where my wife and I now reside.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones needs to give up his stint as the team’s general manager. He should hire a competent, knowledgeable football guru to make drafting decisions, make coaching staff hiring choices, run the day to day operations of arguably the most valuable pro sports franchise on Earth.

I get that it’s his team. He spent zillions to buy the Cowboys back in 1989. He fired the team’s only coach, the legendary Tom Landry. He said something at the time about getting involved with every aspect of the team, including “washing jock straps,” or some such nonsense.

The owner anointed himself the team’s GM.

To be fair, the Cowboys have won three Super Bowls since Jones bought the team. However, they’ve gone 25 years since playing in the last one. The team is struggling again this season. The coach, Jason Garrett, is likely to hit the road once the final game ends this weekend.

I happen to agree with WFAA-TV sports commentator Dale Hansen, who said this morning that the owner’s meddling in matters about which he knows not a thing is what is fundamentally wrong with the Cowboys.

Hey, he’s entitled to be the owner. It’s his money. However, he is feeding a bloated ego by being in the news constantly.

I prefer sports owners to be silent. Let them pay the salaries. Let them run the board meetings. They can make command decisions, but then have their flacks make the announcements.

Would the Cowboys’ owner fire himself … please?

I’ve seen and heard enough from the Cowboys’ owner and the guessing games about what he intends to do to fix the team. Just walk away from the GM job, Mr. Owner, and hire someone who knows how to run a pro football team.

Coaching path from college to pros is strewn with casualties

(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

The fascination in this part of the world with Urban Meyer and the thought that he might become the next Dallas Cowboys head football coach intrigues me terribly.

And not for reasons you might expect.

Jason Garrett is likely coaching his final season for the Cowboys, who have underperformed to the disappointment of the team’s fans. Let me stipulate that I am not one of those fans.

So, what about Meyer? He retired as head coach at Ohio State. Prior to that he coached the University of Florida to greatness. Prior to that he led the University of Utah to the status of being a very good football team. He won three national collegiate championships.

Does that college success translate automatically to the professional ranks? Hmm. Let’s ponder that.

Chip Kelly coached the University of Oregon and for a brief spell led the team to elite status among college football programs. He left Oregon to become head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles; he got fired. Then he became head coach of the San Francisco 49ers; he got fired again. He’s now back as a college coach at UCLA.

Bud Wilkinson led the University of Oklahoma to 47 straight wins in the early 1950s. He coached the St. Louis Cardinals of the NFL, where his success was, shall we say, less than sterling.

Dennis Erickson had a stellar college coaching career. His pro coaching career was decidedly less than stellar.

Steve Spurrier, too, had great success as a college coach. Not so much in the pros.

Nick Saban? Same thing.

To be sure, there are reverse examples. The Cowboys hired two successful college coaches, Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer, who managed to win Super Bowls coaching the Cowboys. The owner, Jerry Jones, fired ’em both; Johnson mouthed off to the owner and I can’t remember what got Switzer into trouble.

I would encourage my friends who are Cowboys’ fanatics to take great care in wishing Urban Meyer can be talked into donning the headphones yet again, this time for the Dallas Cowboys.

It’s one thing to throw your weight around with student-athletes. It’s quite another matter when the players you are coaching are multimillionaires who make more money each year than the guy who’s telling ’em to run wind sprints.

Stand firm, Ellen, in your friendship with ‘W’

I hereby endorse Ellen DeGeneres in her declaration that she is friends with former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush.

The comedian is taking flak because she happened to attend a Dallas Cowboys football game at AT&T Stadium, where she sat next to the former first couple, had a few laughs and enjoyed each other’s company.

DeGeneres noted out loud the other day that it does strange for a “gay liberal” such as herself to be friends with a “conservative” such as President Bush. Which makes me respond: So what? 

Ellen is taking heat from some in the entertainment industry. Actor Mark Ruffalo commented via Twitter that Bush’s policies are anathema to the “kindness” that DeGeneres mentioned in her comments about her friendship with “W.”

Look, I get it. I am not “friends” with the former president, although I have had the pleasure of meeting him three times over the years. The first time was on an elevator at the 1988 GOP convention in New Orleans; the second time was in 1995, when I interviewed the then-new Texas governor at his office at the State Capitol; the third time was in Amarillo in 1998 when he was running for re-election as governor.

My impression of President Bush is clear: He is the kind of guy I would love to have a beer with … except that he no longer drinks alcohol. He is affable, jovial, personable, humble and all-round good guy. His politics stink, but as Mitt Romney once said during the Al Smith Memorial Dinner in 2012 when he appeared on the same dais as President Barack Obama against whom he was running, “There is more to life than politics.”

So it is with Ellen DeGeneres and President Bush.

Stand firm, Ellen.

They played a football game … as they should

My first reaction a decision to cancel a high school football game in the wake of the El Paso, Texas massacre was to support, if not embrace, the decision.

But then two high schools linked tragically to the slaughter of 22 victims decided to play the game. El Paso Eastwood High School played Plano Senior High School in a game hosted by the Dallas Cowboys, who let the teams play the game Thursday at their massive stadium in Arlington, Texas.

El Paso’s link to the shooting is quite obvious. Plano Senior High happens to be where the alleged gunman graduated. Thus, the linkage will bind these communities forever.

I am glad they played the game. Plano Senior High won the contest. As I watched the news video of the event this morning, though, I was struck in the heart by the fellowship and sportsmanship displayed by the student-athletes of both teams. The team members embraced prior to the game. They helped each other up during the contest. Fans from both sides cheered for the other team.

And then we saw Cowboys owner Jerry Jones greeting the El Paso Eastwood team as they entered the stadium, welcoming them to what essentially was the “home field” for their Plano Senior High opponents.

That’s why we should play these games. Sure, one team wins and the other one loses. Both communities, though, came out winners.

Trying to understand these sports contracts

A whole lot of things go way over my noggin, especially if they involve large amounts of money.

Such as sports contracts signed by highly paid athletes. One of them, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, is “holding out” and not participating in the NFL team’s preparation for the upcoming season. He’s reportedly in Mexico somewhere, working out on his own, presumably getting in game shape.

So, what don’t I understand?

Elliott signed a contract. I understand there’s still some time left on that contract, which means — I think! — that he agreed when he signed it to fulfill the terms of that contract. That means he agreed to accept the large amounts of money he gets paid to play football.

Now he says he wants even more money. Elliott believes, I presume, that the millions of bucks he gets to play football aren’t sufficient. I understand he’s getting a lot of love and support from his teammates and rivals. They say he is simply looking out for his family. Got it!

Are these athletes exempt from adhering to the terms of the contracts they sign? Are they able to walk away from their jobs, hold out for more money while still getting paid the handsome sums they earn already?

The Cowboys’ management is holding firm.

If I were on the negotiating team I might be inclined to offer this notion: Zeke, come back and play hard, roll up some big rushing stats, lead the team to the Super Bowl and when your contract is set to expire, we can find a way to give you the raise we believe you will have earned. 

Take it away, Tony Romo!

There is, as they say, a first time for everything.

So, for the first time in my life I am looking forward to a major sporting event not so much for the competition on the field, but for the announcing that will come from the broadcast booth.

Yep, it’s true. I have no particular interest in the Super Bowl LIII matchup between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. I do have an interest in hearing the real-time game analysis by Tony Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback who has become a media superstar.

I was among the millions of Americans who became enthralled with Romo’s expertise while calling the Patriots’ AFC championship game victory over the Kansas City Chiefs a couple of Sundays ago. His energy and enthusiasm were contagious. His knowledge of the game, quite naturally, was stellar.

Moreover, his ability to predict what the Patriots or the Chiefs would do on the next play was utterly astonishing!

I expect fully to hear Romo bring all of that into the booth this coming Sunday when he provides color commentary for the Patriots-Rams showdown. I also heard it said that he makes Jim Nantz, the play-by-play announcer with whom Romo will be teamed for SB LIII, even better at his job.

Let me be clear about something. I have been a longtime AFC supporter. Only one time have I rooted for the NFC team over the AFC team in the Super Bowl. It was in 2010 when the New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts.

Yeah, I’ll root quietly for the Pats to beat the Rams. I’ll likely provide golf claps if the Patriots pull off big plays.

But my interest in the big game centers mostly on hearing Tony Romo, who never excited me much as a QB for the so-called “America’s Team.” I say that even though I now live in the heart of Cowboys Country.

But, man, the boy knows how to bring a pro football game to life with his commentary!