Mac Engel

January 13, 2014

Cowboys, Bengals have more in common than you might think

It’s all about stability for Jerry Jones, which is why his team looks so much like Mike Brown’s.

To protect the name of the innocent, we will call him “George.” What George has to say sounds ridiculous, until it makes sports-tragic sense.

George has been around the NFL for a long time, and he says that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Bengals owner Mike Brown “are the same guy.”

What in the name of all things stupid???!!!

Brown inherited his team from his famous father, has zero Super Bowls, is camera shy and would rather die than spend an additional dollar on his team or his players.

Yet, after careful examination, with only minor differences, George is on to something. The Cowboys have — oh, gawd — become Bengals South, because Mike Brown and Jerry Jones are not that much different.

Because Jerry is now a man of great continuity.

The latest “media reports” say that offensive coordinator Bill Callahan will remain as the primary play-caller for the Cowboys. If passing the ball at will, regardless of the situation, is your thing — this is like winning the lottery.

In what most assuredly will be Jason Garrett’s final year as head coach if he does not make the playoffs, he is all in with stability. Not sure if this is his idea, or his boss’, but already 2014 is looking a lot like 2011, 2012 and 2013.

The only major question remaining is if the Cowboys will retain Monte Kiffin as their defensive coordinator one year after his unit became a synonym for horror. Do not be surprised if Kiff comes back, because these Cowboys are now all about keeping the band together regardless of how many No. 1 hits they have not produced.

The Cowboys’ commitment to continuity is not a new trend in the NFL. After all, for their first three decades, there was no franchise in sports more stable than the Cowboys.

Currently, the Ravens, 49ers, Saints, Patriots and Steelers keep doing the same thing over and over for the obvious reasons — their version of stability works.

The Cowboys and Bengals employ the same philosophy for reasons that stem from the hope (prayer?) that stability will yield the desired results.

The longest-tenured GM in the NFL is Jerry, followed by Mike Brown. Jerry bought his title within his organization. Mr. Brown rode nepotism’s comfortable coattails to the top of his.

Both men are in their 70s, owner/general managers of their franchises and are loyal to the many people they employ, who in turn stick around because they enjoy working in the National Football League.

Their individual fingerprints are all over their rosters, which have a blind-squirrel-acorn feel. Give it enough time, the law of averages says eventually there will be a winner.

The Bengals’ roster is finally competent, yet they manage to keep losing in the playoffs. The team has not won a postseason game since 1990.

The Cowboys’ roster is OK, and they manage to keep missing the playoffs. They have one playoff win since 1997.

Despite no playoff wins in his 11-year tenure as head coach, Marvin Lewis remains in charge in Cincy. He tried a power play against his boss a few years ago when his contract was up, only to lose because he would prefer to be a head coach in the NFL than an assistant elsewhere.

Garrett has been with the Cowboys since 2007, a coaching prodigy waiting to be the next Mike Tomlin or Bill Belichick — a head coaching lifer in a vocation full of people working on borrowed time.

Perhaps the old Jerry would have fired Garrett by now, but this Jerry is older and he is preaching to stay the course. Not that much different than Brown.

The only genuine distinction between these men is the perception that one does not care about the outcome (Brown), whereas the other man dies a little with each loss (Jerry).

Either way, both men are pretty sure he has the answers and will not be changing anytime soon. Stability is the way to go at Valley Ranch in 2014.

Turns out George was right — Jerry is Brown, and the Cowboys are the Bengals.

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