When it comes to his quarterback, the one with only one playoff victory since 11th grade, Jerry Jones is all in.
No, I mean really all in. The dream. The new contract. The offense, the one with coach Jason Garrett’s neck attached.
Speaking at the NFL owners meetings in Arizona, Jones talked candidly last week about quarterback Tony Romo’s impending new job description.
“He’s going to have high expectations, I promise you that,” Jerry told a group of reporters. “He’s not going to be paid to be a bus driver.”
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In other words, it’s Romo or bust. Make it happen, coach Garrett. Take Romo’s “special skills” — i.e., par golf and scrambling for his life — and turn them into an offense that can knock off the 49ers, Seahawks, Giants, et al.
Do it, Owner Jones said, the way that Washington “took advantage of RG3’s special skills.”
Right. Unlock the Robert Griffin III inside of Tony Romo.
The delusion at Valley Ranch continues.
Poor Garrett. He is trying to learn how to be a successful NFL head coach, and Jones keeps tweeting him pictures of the Cowboys’ old Super Bowl trophies. That’s what seems to be happening, at least.
Poor Garrett. Romo has won only one postseason game since he was a junior at Burlington High in Wisconsin — his college team was knocked out in the first round of the NCAA Division 1-AA playoffs three years in a row — and yet Owner Jones expects the quarterback to get him to a Super Bowl.
Poor Garrett. Whatever money could have been spent more wisely upon, you know, building a better overall football team, will now go to the starting quarterback.
So carry on, coach Garrett. Warp speed.
In discussing the mission for this coming season — all Star Trek analogies are fully appropriate, of course — Jones emphasized that he feels his starting quarterback has special skills.
“And he’s had some success with it,” Jerry said. “But it hasn't gotten us where we want to go.
“So the change-up is how do we use him better? Have we maximized everything so that he is about to get it done? Those are the challenges we’ve got in the off-season.”
He’s all in, in other words. There is no Andrew Luck coming in the NFL Draft. There’s no free agent cavalry coming over the hill.
It’s as if Jerry has rewatched the 2012 game tapes, and he’s decided that there’s no reason virtually the same team, with the modest addition of a couple of rookies, can’t just turn Tony loose and march to the next Super Bowl.
That’s scary thinking, of course. Romo has been unstrapped from the proverbial bus driver’s seat for seven seasons. That’s one of the reasons the Cowboys were 8-8 the past two years and missed the playoffs. Owner Jones should be ordering Garrett and his staff to rein in Romo, not give him the condo keys.
Any comparison to Griffin, of course, is foolish. One guy won the Heisman Trophy and was the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft. The other guy lost all three of his playoff games in college and underwhelmed NFL staffs so much at the 2003 Scouting Combine that he went undrafted.
Yet, Jones pointed last week to Romo’s “unique skills.”
“Tony sees remarkably,” he said. “He sees the cars on the highway, so to speak. He reacts well on what he sees. And he is real good at taking his eye away from it and going back to it.
“Those are really unique skills. We ought to be winning with that.”
In other words, Jones wants to hold Garrett accountable for the same mistake that he’s been making, the misjudgment of thinking that Romo is something he’s not.
It’s about to become a very expensive mistake.
Warp speed, coach Garrett. And good luck with all that.