Mac Engel

August 27, 2014

Jerry Jones on the state of his franchise — and his head coach

The Cowboys’ best qualities are ‘glitz and glamour,’ which have Jason Garrett’s back “against the wall.”

Jerry Jones is often called delusional, but his latest description of his favorite toy is not an accident, and his most recent evaluation of his team’s 2014 season is appropriate.

This week, Jerry told 105.3 The Fan that the Cowboys are the “glitz and the glamour of the NFL.” Then Wednesday at the Cowboys’ preseason luncheon at AT&T Stadium, Jerry finally put his head coach on the plank when he said: “This organization knows we have our backs against the wall.”

As often as Jerry says he is “not trying to be trite,” the back-against-the-wall cliché fits — for one of his most trusted employees.

Jerry consciously did not intend to say it, but this rallying-cry statement merely reveals the obvious: It is Jason Garrett’s back against the wall.

While his defense continues to receive more bad news this week in terms of injury, Jerry thus far has had a brilliant week in terms of candor. Complete candor is a benefit of being 71.

Before Wednesday, Jerry had avoided any sort of perceived ultimatum statements. He had gone so far as to suggest, with a straight face, that Garrett not receiving a contract extension in the final year of his deal could be taken as a good thing. That would make Coach Process the first man in recorded history to feel secure without a hint of an extension in the final season of an arrangement.

Jerry’s back isn’t against the wall. Stephen, Charlotte, Jerry Jr. and the rest of the Jones clan’s individual backs aren’t against the wall. It’s not as if Jerry is going to sell the team if it doesn’t make the playoffs.

Tony Romo’s twice-repaired back may be better suited against a wall, but the man — in Jerry’s eyes — will live forever.

The only one of any real consequence is Garrett, and his entire staff for that matter. But they already knew that.

The sad part is the Cowboys could again finish 8-8, and this time it would be Garrett’s best coaching job.

Garrett is in the final year of his contract, and an additional season without making the playoffs means he is gone. All Jerry did on Wednesday was, essentially, give credence to the idea that this season is a “need” year — i.e., playoffs.

Jerry has not won a Super Bowl in 18 years, so at this point, a playoff game will feel like holding the Lombardi Trophy.

Eighteen years without a Super Bowl, and the Cowboys have become entirely about what they do off the field more than what they do on it.

Jerry’s “glitz and glamour” comment may not sit too well with his head coach, but it doesn’t make it inaccurate. Garrett responded at a weekly presser, “We’re not about glitz and glamour on the field.”

Since the Cowboys are merely OK at what they do on the field, they have maintained their relevance by being brilliant off of it.

When Jerry bought the team in 1989, he told The Fan he actually wanted to buy Billy Bob’s in the Stockyards, likely as some cross-promotional deal. Proof that the Lord works in mysterious ways, former team president Tex Schramm talked Jerry out of that idea. Tex told Jerry: The Cowboys are the “glamour and the glitz of the NFL.”

Jerry listened intently to Tex, and that is what the Cowboys are, and do better than any other team — fluff, stuff, glamour and glitz.

Schramm believed in the show that was the NFL, but he also maintained the best place to invest in marketing was the end results on the field.

The NFL has changed dramatically since Tex, and every advantage the Cowboys once had is gone.

The Cowboys, however, still have the market cornered on this nation’s most celebrated cheerleading group, which has its own TV show. The Cowboys have the NFL’s best set of bras and panties, and just this week added a collection of official Dallas Cowboys über-expensive watches to their collection of junk we don’t need.

The Cowboys offer the best, biggest and most versatile stadium, complete with the greatest Jumbotron technology allows.

The price tag for the Dallas Cowboys now is $3.2 billion, making it the most valuable franchise in the NFL, according to Forbes.

Imagine how much they would be worth if they won nine games. Or 10. Maybe even a playoff game.

The Cowboys have always been glamour and glitz, but now it is their defining and most flattering characteristic.

Jerry may not be trying to be trite, but this is why Jason Garrett’s back is firmly against the wall.

Follow Mac Engel on The Big Mac Blog at

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