FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys are taking their sweet time "evaluating'' the status of head coach Jason Garrett, who as Monday turns into Tuesday at The Star is executing "The Long Goodbye'' on the way out the door.
Cowboys critics would argue that the franchise is taking even more sweet time evaluating owner and GM Jerry Jones. "Time,'' as in "25 years.''
“I always start there,'' Jones argued when questioned about his self-evaluation. "When you work for yourself, you have to evaluate and you have to change what you’re doing. You don’t fire yourself. That’s an impossibility. You look at what you can do better and you go do it better if you can.”
Jones' eliminate-the-middleman position on letting someone else have complete control is frustrating ... but understandable. And he's right about how any owner of a company, a restaurant, a barber shop, wouldn't "fire himself.''
But "firing'' isn't the question. (And hiring Troy Aikman as the GM is not really an answer.) The question is about "change,'' not only a change in who moves into Garrett's soon-to-be-vacated office, but change in terms of the possibility that a Jones-created culture is central to Dallas' quarter-of-a-century march of mediocrity.
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"I make changes, and I certainly can see myself making a lot of changes in a lot of areas,'' Jerry said following a 47-16 home win over Washington in Week 17 that proved empty because Philly won at New York to win the NFC East. "Just the times call for that. I am about change. I change a lot.”
Hiring Urban Meyer or any number of intriguing candidates would signify change of a sort. Giving Meyer (or whomever) power? That wouldn't be as much of a change as outsiders think; Garrett had a great deal of authority in the running of the football team.
Meyer (or whomever) requesting/demanding that the Joneses be open to finding a way to keep the marketing side of the organization from bleeding into the football side, which may be the root of the problem I've labeled "53 Brands''?
That would mark a significant change that could truly alter the direction of the franchise.
"There's a lot of blame to pass around here, and I certainly accept my share of it,'' Jerry said. "The inconsistencies that are involved with this season are mind-boggling. But that’s what this time is about: To really reflect back on it and see how we can make improvements.”
There are ways to improve the roster. Above that on the organizational chart, there are ways to improve the coaching staff. And above that? There are ways to improve the ownership, too.