FRISCO - The buck stops with Jerry Jones. And the change must happen with Jerry Jones. But whatever changes occur, they will not include the Dallas Cowboys owner firing the Dallas Cowboys GM.
“When you work for yourself, there’s no firing him,'' Jones said. “You gotta change him. And he’s gotta change the direction he’s going.”
For 31 years, starting with his 1989 purchase of the Cowboys, Jones has held the title of "general manager.'' This doesn't mean he makes decisions unilaterally; he does not and never has. But it does mean he accepts the blame for problems - including this 3-9 season.
"Do you think anybody's talking sweet about me right now?'' he said in a visit with 105.3 The Fan. “I’m the one that should and does get heat in various forms.''
Jones specifically took the blame for the franchise's error in judgment in allowing Mike McCarthy and the new coaching staff to install a new defense without the benefit of a normal summer.
“Every bit of it,” Jones said, admitting the problem and then accepting the blame. “And then right past that, go right to your general manager. Right past (blaming coaches), go to your general manager, because coming through the door, the GM was eye-to-eye hiring the head coach, talking about how we were going to approach when he walks through the door and where he was going to go from there.''
Jones is often accused of putting profit ahead of winning. Whatever Dallas' flaws are, he insisted, that isn't one of them, noting, "I had money before I bought the Cowboys and gave it all up (in the purchase of the franchise) to be involved in the NFL.''
Jones continued: "Do y’all have any idea how much I'd write a check for if I knew I could get that Lombardi Trophy? (Winning) is the foremost thing, not money. There has never been but one thing, and that is win.”
There are obviously no plans for Jones to give up his big chair. Maybe there can be organizational alterations around him - and surely should be, if you agree with Hall-of-Fame Cowboys legend Troy Aikman, one of many respected critics who have questioned the direction of the franchise.
But even in that event, Jones believes he is the right overseer of such a project.
"I’ve worked all my life for myself,'' Jerry said, "but I’ve had to change directions many times. So, I will change. I can change.”