Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says he regrets rushing to fire Tom Landry

Posted Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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With the 25-year anniversary of the day he bought the Dallas Cowboys coming up Tuesday, owner Jerry Jones spent a little time Sunday reminiscing about some of the decisions he made leading up to the purchase.

Jones said that if he could change anything during his tenure, it would be the rushed decision to fire legendary coach Tom Landry and replace him with Jimmy Johnson. Jones doesn’t regret the move, just the circumstances that forced him to act so quickly and thus come off as disrespectful to Landry.

“If I had a chance to do it over again, I would’ve waited a year and just got my feet on the ground a little bit more and probably just gone with the staff that we had and then later made the ultimate change that I made,” Jones said.

Clearly, Jones is still pained by the stigma of being the man who fired Landry and how coldly he did so. Some Cowboys have never forgiven him for it. The event forced the team’s Hall of Fame coach to change allegiances and root for the rival New York Giants until his death, Landry’s wife Alicia admitted in a book last year.

Jones laments now that if he had to it over he would have taken up the offer of former owner Bum Bright.

“He did insist that, ‘I should make this change. You shouldn’t. You should have a clean slate. I will make the change,’ ” Jones said.

Ware decision

Jones said the team must make a decision on former Pro Bowl defensive end DeMarcus Ware because of his high salary and declining performance due to injuries.

Ware, who had only six sacks last year and recently underwent elbow surgery, has a $12 million base salary for 2014 and a $16 million cap figure. A Cowboys team with financial issues might want to address Ware’s contract by either asking him to take a pay cut or cutting him.

While the former decision is more prudent, the latter is tough to visualize for Jones without having a known commodity on the roster to replace the team’s all-time leader in sacks.

“DeMarcus is paid like the best player on defense,” Jones said. “ ... No one, no one has been a better and is a better Dallas Cowboy than DeMarcus Ware. He has been exemplary in every way.

“But the facts are in football, when you start not being able to practice and you start not being able to really get your reps, then you can be DeMarcus Ware, who is a Hall of Famer, and get compromised by not being able to do fundamental things to get ready.”

Dixon won’t change

Baylor safety Ahmad Dixon said NFL scouts have not asked him about his ejection from the TCU game or the criticism he received from Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson afterward.

Dixon was ejected for targeting on a hit on TCU receiver Trevone Boykin during the Bears’ 41-38 victory.

In his postgame comments, Patterson said Dixon has been “doing that for years.” Dixon didn’t immediately leave the sideline and then, when he did, he laughed and blew kisses to the TCU crowd as he walked to the locker room.

“I’m out there playing ball,” Dixon said Sunday. “Everybody’s entitled to their own opinions at the end of the day.”

Dixon said he won’t change his aggressive style of play in the NFL.

“I’ll just go out there and play ball,” Dixon said. “I can’t go out there playing timid or playing scared because of being worried about a flag or something like that. Every scout I’ve talked to says they love the way I play, so I’m not going to change the way that I play or try to slow down just because of a penalty.”


• Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel ranked fourth among quarterbacks at the combine with a 4.68-second time in the 40-yard dash. Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas, who trains with Manziel in San Diego, led the way with a 4.61. Manziel did not participate in on-field workouts, waiting until March 27 to throw for scouts in College Station. A&M receiver Mike Evans ran a 4.53.

• Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk ran a 4.51 in the 40-yard dash.

• Kent State running back Dri Archer nearly broke the combine 40-yard dash record, running a 4.26. Titans running back Chris Johnson holds the official, electronic-timing record of 4.24.

Staff writer Charean Williams contributed to this report.

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