We had the recent case of a local general manager being called a “sleazeball” by a former player, and then last week another local GM received lavish media praise for his own incompetence.
Strange stuff in both cases. But of the two, the latter is the one that’s impossible to believe.
If Sleazeball fits, wear it.
But let’s talk about Cowboy Jerry instead.
Mr. Jones is a man who has been known to cherish his football antiques, which has led to a situation where the fossils hang around Valley Ranch forever, soaking up precious salary-cap space instead of playing-time minutes.
It’s a business, of course, where older guys tend to end up injured.
So, when Mr. Jones actually said goodbye last week to the beloved, yet aging and injury-prone DeMarcus Ware, there was a collective media butt-pat for Jerry’s “sound” financial thinking.
Headlines bounced between “It Was Time for Ware to Go,” to “No Time to be Sentimental.”
Stop me right there.
Between us old guys, I demand “sentimental” time.
The Cowboys have been in existence since 1960. The Rangers since 1972. The Mavericks since 1980. The Stars since 1993.
Of all the players who have come and gone with our four franchises, if you combine on-the-field-court-ice production with being a total class act off the field-court-ice, Ware is top 10 all-time locally.
So why does that last part — total class act — still matter? Because the same media members, and fans, now praising Jerry for his sound business brain, are the first to scream about Johnny Football or Dez Bryant getting a bit sideways under the neon or in the spotlight’s glare.
And let’s not even get started on the Josh Brents or the Lamar Odoms.
Thanks, DeMarcus, for being you. Both the great you, or the injured and scuffling you of last season.
But Ware is not gone because he’s about to be 32 and had only six sacks last season, or not because he made too much money.
Ware is also not gone because Jerry made a sound football business decision.
Ware is gone because Jerry has infamously made horrendous football business decisions with a multitude of players over the years, burying the Cowboys in that never-never land of salary-cap hell.
Ware is gone because the Cowboys as an organization have sunk to an ongoing level of football mediocrity, and mediocre clubs cannot afford the luxury of “hoping” a Ware-type talent can stay healthy and be himself for another season, maybe two.
Within 24 hours after Jerry said bye to DeMarcus, you-know-who was signing a Denver Broncos contract, with a staggering $20 million guaranteed, which, admittedly, made both clubs look stupid.
Granted, however, for those of us who took a long look at Ware’s lack of production last season, a $20 million investment by the Broncos seems way out of whack.
But Denver can take that gamble, because Denver is obviously a real right-now Super Bowl contender, and the Denver front office has its salary cap under control and in good working order.
The cap is a blessing, not a curse. That’s sound management.
The irony here is the Cowboys have no replacement for Ware on hand. When I say no replacement on hand, I’m not talking about the superstar Ware of not long ago.
Instead, there is no replacement on the defensive line for even the six-sack Ware of last season. The football boat people who held up nicely in 2013 — George Selvie, Nick Hayden, etc. — figure to be back, but free agent Jason Hatcher walked out the door right after Ware, collecting a $10.5 million guarantee from the Redskins.
Hatcher was by far the Cowboys’ best defensive lineman last season. In his eight-year time at Valley Ranch, he made a grand total of $10 mil, so this was a monster cash-out for Jason.
Selvie, out of nowhere, had seven sacks last season, but the presence of Ware, plus Hatcher on the inside having a career year, certainly aided George’s breakout year.
At the moment, the defensive line for the Cowboys is wreckage. Losing Ware is not a good thing, and certainly not something that should be praised as a sound business decision.
Instead, it’s the kind of decision that an incompetent general manager is forced to make.
Jerry cut loose another class act last week in receiver Miles Austin. Age, injuries and salary were all factors, and certainly Miles never came close to the kind of career Ware had here.
But the major difference is there’s a young, cheaper receiver who can take over in Terrance Williams, plus Dwayne Harris is available to push Terrance.
Ware being gone also shifts the title of “leader of the defense” to linebacker Sean Lee. Great player, but you know the kicker on Lee.
Can’t Stay Healthy.
Despite what was read and heard in the local media last week, praising Jerry for his football decisions is not something anyone should endorse.
Therefore, I once again have NO praise for the Cowboy’s GM when it comes to DeMarcus Ware leaving town.
But at least nobody called Jerry a sleazeball.
Leave a message for Randy Galloway at 817-390-7697.