Before commencing, a moment to acknowledge Wade Wilson was one of not the good guys, but one of the best guys.
The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and long time quarterbacks coach died last week at the age of 60.
You probably forgot that Wade was actually suspended by the NFL in 2007 because he was caught taking a banned supplement. He wasn’t even playing then. He said he took the substance to counter his diabetes, which he had dealt with during his playing career.
After that dumb suspension was announced in ‘07 he was on a conference call with a few of us reporters, and said he would forever be branded a cheater.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Star-Telegram
The only thing people branded “Sticks” was that he was a good player, a good coach and a well-liked guy who loved his family. He was an inspiration to anyone who is a diabetic.
Wade was a positive influence on the careers of Tony Romo, and especially Dak Prescott. Dak improved a lot because of Wade Wilson.
The only reason Wade left the Cowboys this time one year ago was because he wasn’t totally aligned with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, who wanted Kellen Moore in the job.
Wade Wilson was never branded a cheater. He was branded a good person, who made his community better, and is gone far too soon.
Since there is no natural way to transition from the topic of a sad passing to the state of a football team, allow me some space ... speaking of Kellen Moore.
SELLING THE 2019 DALLAS COWBOYS
Once a Super Bowl is over, Pro Football Hall of Fame general manager Jerry Jones always finds/creates hope to sell the loyal fans of the Dallas Cowboys.
Coming off a 10-6 season with a wild-card win over the Seattle Seahawks, he has something to sell fans. Even the angry ones.
Removing Scott Linehan as offensive coordinator is a point of sale.
But now Jerry has created the 2019 Dallas Cowboys’ season ticket package slogan: “Jason Garrett is Coaching For His Job.” Call now for tickets.
And maybe he will be replaced by Sean Payton.
Jerry is no dummy to trends or the flow of the marketplace; he knows he has a fan base that needs some hope beyond moving out Linehan, or Dak “taking the next step.”
Following the lead of Stephen Jones, the Cowboys will not offer Garrett a contract extension. In 2019, Garrett will be a lame duck coach; seldom has a four-letter description felt more adequate to describe a career.
Marketing the combination of Moore as the offensive coordinator and Jon Kitna as the quarterbacks coach is not enough of a sales tool for Jerry to sell 2019 to his fan base that wants an NFC title game appearance.
Fans can behave irrationally because they act with their blind sports’ heart, but they are not dumb. At least not all of them.
A fan knows that replacing Moore with Kitna, and Linehan with Moore, is not change.
All of these men, including Linehan, believe in the same philosophies as Garrett. You are not going to see the Cowboys’ look dramatically different than what they have been doing offensively for the previous five decades Garrett has been the head coach.
Even Tony Romo said during his Super Bowl press availability that he didn’t think much would change, other than perhaps some tweaks to the language.
However Jerry wants to dress this up, fans see this: The Process is going to win big, or The Process is over.
That this is the last chance for their least-favorite red head coach.
THE SEAN PAYTON TICKET PITCH
One of the more popular conspiracy theories around the NFL is that New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton will come back to DFW to coach the Cowboys. This has floated for years.
Payton worked under Bill Parcells as an offensive assistant for the Cowboys from 2003 to ‘05, and owns a home in the area. Depending on what rumor you believe, Payton’s dream job is the Dallas Cowboys.
The timing “fits.” Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ contract expires after the end of the ‘19 season, and he’s 40.
Payton is only 55, and this potential relationship works. But to acquire this head coach, who is under contract, the Cowboys would have to give the Saints a draft pick or two, and then pay Payton ... a lot.
Dallas Cowboys head coach Sean Payton is at least one year away. Much will have to go wrong, beginning with a season gone sideways under Garrett.
Jerry is “serious” this time; no more free millions for his adopted son, Jason Garrett. He will have to earn his next extension.
Most teams build hope around players, but the Cowboys are the rare example where optimism is now about the mere possibility of removing the immovable object.
The sales pitch for the fan is simple: The Process works, or it’s over.