Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was named 2014 NFL Executive of the Year by the Pro Football Writers Association.
Jones was lauded for his work in the NFL Draft and the off-season in rebuilding the Cowboys roster, which resulted in a 12-4 record, NFC East title and the team’s first playoff win since 2009.
Nobody expected the Cowboys to surpass the 8-8 marks of the past three years because of a roster with little proven talent on the defensive side of the ball.
Jones and vice-president Stephen Jones made hard decisions in the off-season to get in line with the salary cap, releasing defensive end DeMarcus Ware, the all-time sack leader in club history, and letting Pro Bowl tackle Jason Hatcher walk in free agency.
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The best move they made on the defensive line was the signing of defensive end Jeremy Mincey, who led the team with six sacks.
The Cowboys overcame the loss of linebacker Sean Lee in minicamp by talking former Oakland Raiders first-round pick Rolando McClain out of retirement.
Jones’ best work came in the 2014 NFL Draft when the Cowboys passed on Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel with the 16th overall pick and selected guard Zack Martin.
Martin proved to be the final piece to what became the NFL’s best offensive line. Martin was named to the Pro Bowl and earned all-pro honors as a rookie.