Jason Garrett gets his marching orders for 2013

03/20/2013 11:40 AM

04/18/2013 7:29 PM

Not that you needed a reminder, but sure enough, we were gifted this week with another example of exactly what’s been wrong with the Dallas Cowboys all these many years.

His name is Jerry.

Jerry Jones.

Shock you, shock me. Shock the world.

Speaking of all these many years, no, this is not yet another Jerry-bashing session that has been prevalent in this space since the Clinton administration.

Consider this morning’s sermon more like a confused palm-slap to the forehead.

The movers and shakers of the NFL world have gathered this week in Arizona for the annual league meetings, and on Tuesday, Mr. Jones had an extended session with local media members who made the trip to the desert.

Here’s what we learned: Red J, your butt is on the line for 2013.

That’s OK with me. As head coach, Jason Garrett will be held accountable. Jerry made it clear this week that this accountability must start with Garrett finding ways to be more creative with the unique skills of quarterback Tony Romo, allowing the Cowboys’ offense to prosper by relying on the strengths of Tony’s game.


I could mention here that a soon-to-be 33-year-old quarterback, with seven seasons as the starter, is not a likely candidate to undergo a sudden on-the-field transformation. But I guess anything is possible.

Reality, however, prevails in this case. Tony is going to be Tony. He can be amazingly good, or amazingly mistake-prone. That’s why Tony drives everybody nuts.

But think about it, Jerry. At age 33, Romo is now going to be different in a good kind of way because the head coach/offensive guru schemes up some more creative ways to use Tony?

No. Tony being better will depend on Tony. And it will depend on those around Tony also being better.

But Jerry’s assessment this week of the Romo situation is another scary reminder that the future for the Cowboys has the same sinkhole dangers as the past decades.

Mr. Jones, almost politely, called out the head coach. Again, that’s OK.

But there was no blame by Jerry for Romo. And there was no blame by Jerry for Jerry.

The local Romo-haters howl loudly, but even they know that Jerry, serving as his own beloved general manager, has failed repeatedly to stack the right pieces around the quarterback, and considering the state of the offensive line, that failure is currently more glaring than ever.

But speaking as he did this week, and not mentioning Romo in any negative context, means Jerry lost all credibility on the situation with the offense.

Granted, Mr. Jones is in a tough PR bind here. He’s about to shower millions of dollars on his quarterback with a new contract that will be one of the richest ever in the NFL.

Based on overall success, Romo will be very much overpaid.

Legitimate criticism of Tony — even lightweight yet truthful criticism — would be a direct contrast to the amount of money Jerry is about to pay Romo.

But both Jerry and Garrett share the blame in the one area that neither one cares to explore with Romo.

If you want a different Romo — Jerry now says more creative instead of less mistake-prone — then bring in a different voice for his ear. There are no guarantees, but it’s at least worth a try.

Outside of Big Bill’s sharp tongue for half a season, Tony has had the same voice for six years. Garrett is all he has known. This off-season was the perfect time to change that.

But Garrett doesn’t want that change. Neither does Jerry.

Even if the unexpected happens and offensive line coach Bill Callahan does call plays this season, he’s not going to be that new Romo voice, except in Tony’s helmet.

The opportunity to make that outside change has come and gone.

Jerry said this week he wants another kind of change. He wants a 33-year-old quarterback to operate with a more creative game plan, and it’s Garrett’s responsibility to make it happen.

The game plan has not been the problem. Tony has been the problem. What’s around him has been the problem.

And, breaking news, Jerry is the problem.

Cue the palm-slap to the forehead.

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