Friday, May 9, 2014

Passing on Johnny Manziel Was a Positive Moment For Jerry Jones, But Doesn’t Mean Culture Has Changed in Dallas

The post-selection depression was staggering.  Almost more so than the actual selection.

After falling into the Cowboys’ laps like everyone had dreamed but dared hardly hope, Jerry Jones up and pulled the rug out from under everyone’s feet, selecting offensive guard Zack Martin out of Notre Dame instead of the beloved quarterback Johnny Manziel.  As you can imagine, record-high ratings hit the floor in an instant as parties were canceled and frivolity rendered mute.

But as clearer heads prevail and full consciousness returns, the world is left wondering at Martin.  Or, rather Jerry.

What came over team owner Jerry Jones to convince him to take an offensive lineman when it was so obviously unexpected? 

A safety?  Yes. 

Defensive end?  Yes. 

Johnny Football?  Millions of anxious fans sure hoped so.

But offensive lineman?  Really?

It has been the favorite topic of discussion on this good Friday to discern whether or not Jerry in fact is turning over a new leaf in his duties.  In hindsight, the selection of Martin did address the one weakness of a surprisingly stable Cowboy offensive line from a year ago: guard.  Martin was the highest-rated player left on Dallas’ draft board and is every bit of a quality pick.

Does that in fact make Mr. Jones a quality General Manager of a sudden?

Let’s hold off on that declaration, at least for a few more days.  25 years and counting of mishaps is not erased merely by one surprisingly good draft-day brain wave.  Jerry might just as easily turn around and select another quarterback today, and bring about the Manziel discussion all over again.

It can not be said for certain at this juncture what the owner’s thought process was last night.  Was he out to get simply the best player because of value, or was it stubborn faith that his shell-shocked defense, healthy at this moment, would transform themselves come September with many of the same faces from a year ago?

As erratic as the Cowboys’ drafts have been the past twenty years, these are important questions that will be answered over the next two days.  Not that positive developments will make Jerry a hero, but will at least give his audience something relevant to pat him on the back for.
You can read more about the Dallas Cowboys and their struggle with recent drafts in Ryan Bush's new book about Jerry Jones and The Worst Decade in Dallas Cowboys' History, "Decade of Futility." Use the following link to purchase your copy today:https://www.createspace.com/4161551

Dallas Cowboys Selection of Boise State DE Demarcus Lawrence Continues Defensive Theme in Second Round

Since the year 2000, the Dallas Cowboys have drafted a defensive player in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft eight times out of a possible thirteen chances.  Their latest selection, Boise State defensive end Demarcus Lawrence, will join former college teammate Tyrone Crawford in Dallas’ revamped front four.
You can read more about the Dallas Cowboys and their struggle with recent drafts in Ryan Bush's new book about Jerry Jones and The Worst Decade in Dallas Cowboys' History, "Decade of Futility."  Use the following link to purchase your copy today:https://www.createspace.com/4161551

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Prospect of Landing Johnny Manziel Adds Intrigue For Dallas Cowboys, Pressure for Jerry Jones

We have asked.  Jerry has answered.

We have implored.  Jerry has declined.

We say maybe.  Jerry says never.

It’s been a good long while since there has been this much unity from Jerry’s bleachers over a prospect in the weeks leading up to the draft.  Too long.  But that’s what happens when you have only won one playoff game in nearly two decades.  Apathy becomes a local custom rather than a personal reaction.

The NFL draft hasn’t meant much to Cowboy Nation for many moons now because they have found little constructive activity in their team’s war room.  This year is different, though.  Because this year Johnny Football is calling it quits in College Station to join the big boys of the professional ranks, where money and legend can proliferate freely.

Johnny Football is a Texas gunslinger who would’ve made Slingin’ Sammy proud with his rocket arm, dare-devil attitude, and knack for the spotlight.  In two years at Texas A&M, all Johnny Manziel did was win a Heisman Trophy as a freshman, knock off mighty Alabama, and almost single-handedly put the Aggies in the national title conversation.

So accomplished is he that millions have taken hold of the thought that, “Maybe Johnny can fix the Cowboys.”

The Cowboys, as we all know by now, are in the deplorable habit of winning half of their games, losing the other half, and going home for the winter in a thoroughly confused state of emotions.

The franchise quarterback, 34-year old Tony Romo, is overpaid, likely overweight at this date, and some claim overwhelmingly overhyped.  His teammates all spend their off-season talking about the need to improve.  The owner, speaking for all, claims infinite satisfaction.

The football crazed town of Dallas knoweth no peace, for the team they are sworn to does not compute.  Nor compete.

The fans know this isn’t acceptable, so have offered their remedy, hoping that team owner Jerry Jones is thinking along those same lines.  As of yesterday, Jones claims he is not, citing an over-abundance at the quarterback position and a need to win now.

Remember, the topic of quarterbacks is a sensitive one around Valley Ranch right now, and with good reason.  The reality is that Jones has yet to find a quarterback in the draft during his 25 years on the job, and he doesn’t need any reminders on that front.

Jones has always claimed he learned a hard, but valuable, lesson when he watched Troy Aikman slide into retirement in 2001 due to complications from a bad back and a rash of concussions.  He blamed himself for not having a capable replacement waiting in the wings, ready to stand up when Aikman did finally go down, and considered himself at fault for going nearly six full seasons before another franchise quarterback happened along.  Jones says he’s aware more than ever how important the position is in today’s game.

Thursday is his chance to prove as much.

Right now there are only two quarterbacking carcasses behind Romo on the depth chart, moldy fossils of past failures who are simply hanging onto the league’s skirts for employment.  Brandon Weeden is a 31-year old with two years of experience in dog-eared Cleveland where he became, according to multiple reports, emotionally scarred for life.  Well, cheer up, Brandon.  You wouldn’t be the first.

Reserve signal-caller Caleb Hanie had a similar experience with Chicago.

The backup Jones wanted – Kyle Orton – hasn’t showed his face around the Ranch during the team’s optional workouts this spring, and word has it that Orton is currently leaning towards retirement.  That’s not the news that Jones should be fine with hearing, especially considering that his 34-year old starter is coming off his second back procedure in the space of a calendar year.

But Jones doesn’t appear concerned with this in the least and appears fully prepared to place his trust in his overwhelmed pair of reserves and Romo’s improving health.  Jones can’t be blamed for trying to stick with Romo.  He just needs to be aware of the danger of shoving all his chips that way.  Age at the quarterback position isn’t a problem until decay starts to set in.

And you can be certain that somebody at Valley Ranch has made him cognizant of what a financial boon it would be to select Manziel (yes, money is a big thing with Jerry).  According to the latest statistics, Jerry’s house of 100-dollar bills could use a serious upgrade, as poor production on Sundays has boosted inflation and caused the Cowboys to fall behind the competition.

Of the top selling individual players jerseys from the 2013 season, wide receiver Dez Bryant is the top Cowboy, checking in at No. 13.  Tight end Jason Witten was No. 17.  The quarterback of America’s Team could be found well down the list at No. 23.  Eleven quarterbacks ranked ahead of Romo, including public punching bags Ryan Tannehill and Eli Manning.

The Cowboys ranked fourth overall in team merchandise sales, behind Seattle, Denver, and San Francisco.

Selecting Manziel would be an instant boost in revenue, with jerseys and tickets flying off the shelf.  Yes, Jerry would likely sell out both of his preseason games this coming August, too.

A stable franchise could afford to take Manziel with the sixteenth selection.  Alas, that is not a state the Cowboys have enjoyed since Bill Parcells’ scowl was seen on the Dallas sideline.

A rebuilding franchise could do the same.

The Cowboys, unfortunately, fall somewhere in between at this juncture in time.  Without the luxury of either a winning or losing season to direct Jerry’s off-season agenda, the Cowboys have never lacked an identity more than in 2014.

The head coach preaches balance but stands helpless as Jerry’s system of quarterback-offensive coordinator autonomy enacts a pass-first circus that, more often than not, winds up in disaster.  The defense was non-existent a year ago, and certainly hasn’t improved on paper as of yet.

It would seem unfair to want to put Johnny Football in that kind of a situation, if it weren’t for the fact that Manziel dealt with a lot of those same problems at A&M.  Manziel threw the ball all over the yard in college, and had to outscore a gutless defense on most weekends, so probably isn’t going to be overwhelmed at being asked to score points in Dallas, too.

Jerry, on the other hand, is overwhelmed, and will probably be more so than ever by Thursday, according to past Cowboy drafts.  Maybe the prospect of having to choose Manziel will provide a rare moment of clarity from the Valley Ranch war room.

For over-expectant fans of the silver and blue, this one possibility is their one hope for the future.  And without it coming to fruition, the Monday morning commute will certainly be a drab experience when it dawns upon them that they will never have a Johnny, but will always have a Jerry.
You can read more about Jerry Jones' Draft-Day struggles in Ryan Bush's new book about The Worst Decade in Dallas Cowboys' History, "Decade of Futility."  Use the following link to purchase your copy today:https://www.createspace.com/

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Julius Jones Was Lone Star For Dallas Cowboys During 2004 Season

Running back Julius Jones was the lone offensive star for the Dallas Cowboys in 2004. A promising rookie out of Notre Dame, Jones was slotted to share the backfield duties with veteran Eddie George on a team that looked to pound opponents into submission in the rough and tumble NFC East.
But when Jones broke a collarbone during a Week 2 game against Cleveland, everything seemed to change. By the time Jones returned from his injury, the Cowboys were limping along with a 3-5 record and a miserable head coach growling louder and louder with each mistake. And though Jones rushed for 817 yards during the season’s second half, including a 198-yard effort in a Monday night win at Seattle, the Cowboys concluded the 2004 campaign with another frustrating 3-5 mark.
It was Bill Parcells’ only losing season while in Dallas, and it helped convince the head coach of what he thought he already knew. The Cowboys were blessed with a keeper at running back, and a Texas-sized mess besides.


 Read about Parcells’ struggles with the 2004 Cowboys in Ryan Bush's new book about The Worst Decade in Dallas Cowboys history “Decade of Futility.”  Use the following link to purchase your copy today:https://www.createspace.com/4161551

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How Valuable Was Steve Hoffman? Just Ask The 2005 Dallas Cowboys

What did former special teams coach Steve Hoffman have to do with the Dallas Cowboys' struggles of the 2005 season? A lot more than you might think. 
Read about it in Ryan Bush's new book about The Worst Decade in Dallas Cowboys history "Decade of Futility."

Use the following link to purchase your copy today:https://www.createspace.com/4161551

Monday, April 14, 2014

Management, Talent Evaluation Key Suspects in Dallas Cowboys' Dismissal of QB Anthony Wright

In writing the book "Decade of Futility," I spent an entire chapter dealing strictly with Jerry Jones' quarterback carousel of 2001, paying close attention to the Quincy Carter and Clint Stoerner sagas.  What has gone unnoticed therein is that I ultimately edited out an additional story to this heavily stacked segment.  To include it would only show how poor the management and talent evaluation was for the Cowboys in those days, which had already been heavily inferred by the chapter anyway.  So in order not to get bogged down and be redundant, I left it out.
But that doesn't mean it isn't compelling, nor of consequence.  Because it is.
The story centers around reserve quarterback Anthony Wright and a knee injury suffered during Dallas' Week 5 victory over Washington on Monday Night Football.  The game, typical of the times, was a snoozer, the Cowboys nipping the Redskins 9-7 on a last-second field goal by Tim Seder.
And while ABC was bemoaning lackluster ratings and heavy criticism of color commentator Dennis Miller, Jerry Jones was riding a rare emotional high after seeing his team grab their first win of the season, telling reporters afterwards, “I got a little of that Super Bowl feeling again.”
Jones’ mood suffered a severe drop-off over the next 24 hours as team doctors broke the news: Wright’s knee was damaged to the point that, while he technically could still suit up and play on Sundays, it would be far safer if Wright were to immediately undergo surgery to repair it.
There was no secret about the fact that the Cowboys wanted Wright to put off surgery and continue standing in for the injured Quincy Carter, until Carter was healthy enough to re-take the field in early December.
Wright, on the other hand, wanted to protect his career’s longevity, and never thought twice about his decision to go under the knife, thus ending his season.
As a consequence, the Cowboys soured on Wright, cutting ties altogether with the four-year pro the following August.  Their reasoning was simple enough: coaches and certain team officials didn’t think Wright cared enough about football, which, ironically enough, was the exact same reason they opted to cut Tony Banks before him.
But did Jerry Jones really need a banged-up Anthony Wright as his quarterback?  Should he really have been Jones’ preference at that juncture?
Ultimately, the organization put their foot down with Wright; either suck it up, or else….
The timing for such hard-ball management is particularly odd.  Wright was no star in the making.  He had entered the 2001 season as the No. 3 quarterback and, after roughly 14 quarters of action over the season’s first five weeks, Wright had done his “backup” label justice.
He could throw for three touchdowns the first half, and three interceptions in the second.  He could throw for 180 yards one week, and only 80 the next.
He was a better passer than Carter, but relied heavily upon his legs to get him out of trouble when the pocket collapsed, which it was wont to do quite often that season.
And now, with a bum knee and severely limited mobility, it is a wonder the Cowboys could envision that version of Wright being as, or more, effective than Clint Stoerner.  Wright’s ability to scramble, one could argue, was the only thing that offensive coordinator Jack Reilly had learned to trust.  Trailing Oakland 28-21 during their Week 4 contest and facing a fourth-and-1 with less than two minutes remaining, Reilly didn’t call for an off-tackle run by Emmitt Smith, or even a quick slant pattern to Joey Galloway.  He, instead, opted for a quarterback draw with Wright.
The result (Wright was stopped short of the line to gain) is of no consequence when compared to the philosophy.  The offense really had only one thing working for them when Wright was under center: his mobility.
But with that vanished in the wreckage of an unfortunate injury against Washington, what were the Cowboys expecting to place their faith in for the next game?

You can read more about the Dallas Cowboys' crazy 2001 season in Ryan Bush's new book about The Worst Decade in Dallas Cowboys history "Decade of Futility."  Use the following link to order your copy today:https://www.createspace.com/4161551

Sunday, April 13, 2014

For Jerry Jones, Parting Ways With Tony Banks Proved To Be Start of Trouble For 2001 Dallas Cowboys

Quarterbacks were in abundance on the Valley Ranch lawn during the 2001 campaign. The legendary Troy Aikman had retired in April, and team owner Jerry Jones was busy orchestrating a merry game of musical chairs in searching for a suitable ...replacement.
Cowboy enthusiasts remember the scene well, their beloved franchise owning five different starting signal callers from August to November, the once fabled "America's Team" looking strangely akin to a minor league baseball team searching desperately for a reliable arm out of the bullpen.
Tony Banks, Quincy Carter, Anthony Wright, Clint Stoerner, and Ryan Leaf each found their respective names at the top of the depth chart at some point during the season, a 5-11 marathon that seemed to accomplish more damage than good.
The unquestioned starter coming out of mini-camps, the sixth-year veteran Banks was inexplicably cut early in preseason by an owner who seemed determined to reach the 10-win threshold he had so outrageously predicted months before with the raw talent of Carter, a wide-eyed rookie from Georgia. While Jerry was busy touting excitement and a brighter future as the primary causes for such a bold move, fans and sportswriters could only shake their head in bewilderment. They didn't understand Jones using a second-round pick on Carter in the April draft, and they surely couldn't see why Banks should be ditched while his replacement had yet to even learn the proper grip of a professional size football.
Without a doubt, it was a decision that destroyed the season before it ever started, the Cowboys' once-aspiring offense destined for NFL ineptitude.

Read more about "The Quarterback Carousel" in Chapter 5 of Ryan Bush's new book about The Worst Decade in Dallas Cowboys history "Decade of Futility." Use the following link to purchase your copy today:https://www.createspace.com/4161551

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Jamar Martin An NFL Draft Story of What Might Have Been For Dallas Cowboys

Like quarterbacks, the position of fullback has been one which the Cowboys have seldom taken notice of on draft day during this century. Seeing rookie fullback Chris Gronkowski miss a block that led to Tony Romo's season-ending injury in 2010 might help explain why. Seemingly, fullbacks are no longer needed in Dallas, or the NFL for that matter.
But, was there actually one whom Dallas drafted that was actually worth having? Seeing as how it was Jerry Jones who made the selection, it would likely surprise the reader to discover the answer lies in the affirmative.
The year was 2002, a season in which many budding positives would ultimately be rendered negative by a season-long quarterback tussle that split the Dallas locker room down the middle. Yes, Jerry was to blame in large part for that mess, but not with this single unfortunate event.
It was no secret that the Cowboys had been in need of a fullback since Daryl "Moose" Johnston retired following the 1999 campaign. Robert Thomas had been sub-par as a lead-blocker for two seasons, and his overtime fumble against Philadelphia in 2000 still didn't sit well with coaches. So Jones and head coach Dave Campo tried to remedy the solution by selecting Ohio State wrecking ball Jamar Martin in the fourth round of April's draft.
When Martin took to the field in training camp, it was apparent that he was one rookie worth keeping an eye on. A punishing blocker in the hole, Martin was piling up one pancake block after another. Well on his way to earning a roster spot, Martin found his career suddenly in jeopardy when he tore his ACL, and was placed on the team's injured reserve list.
And though he joined the Cowboys for training camp the following August, Martin was not the same explosive player as before, and found himself unemployed shortly thereafter.
Use the following link to purchase your copy of Ryan Bush's new book about the Worst Decade in Dallas Cowboys history "Decade of Futility"......https://www.createspace.com/4161551

Monday, April 7, 2014

Drafting QB Position Has Been All Swing, All Miss For Jerry Jones & Dallas Cowboys

Quarterback is a position that the Dallas Cowboys have rarely wasted time drafting during the Jerry Jones era. But when they have, it's been nothing short of headline-grabbing, though this might have something to do with Jones' penchant for outrageous remarks.
Jones made a sudden audible during the 2001 draft to select Georgia signal-caller Quincy Carter in the second round, dubbing Carter "the next Troy Aikman." Less than a year later, Jones went out and found Carter's replacement in dual-star passer Chad Hutchinson. Neither of Carter or Hutchinson was on the Dallas roster when the Cowboys began the 2004 season.
In 2009, Jones made another draft day reach, taking Texas A&M freelancer Stephen McGee with the first selection in the fourth round. McGee, according to Jones, possessed qualities equal to that of Tony Romo, and was thought by many within the organization to be a capable successor to Romo.
Though McGee did win his only NFL start, a 14-13 affair in Week 17 of the 2010 season, he was released during the spring of 2012 after failing to progress in Jason Garrett's offense.
The Cowboys currently have three quarterbacks on their roster, so it isn't likely that Jerry will audible this year. But make no mistake, if he does, people will surely take notice.

Use the following link to purchase your copy of Ryan Bush's new book about The Worst Decade in Dallas Cowboys history "Decade of Futility"....https://www.createspace.com/4161551

Monday, March 24, 2014

Randy Galloway's Description of A Jerry Jones-Johnny Manziel Hook-Up Nothing Short of Classic

Johnny Manziel and Jerry Jones in the same town? What a wild ride that would be. Here's Randy Galloway's take from earlier in the month:
"Jerry and Johnny? That, friends, is the perfect pig-and-slop combo. If you think it’s nuts around Va...lley Ranch now ... Jerry and Johnny out there loose on local streets would be a Twitter tsunami. Forget high school in Kerrville. Forget his Aggies days. Johnny was born to play for Jerry."

The scary part about that is Galloway is right. Johnny was born to play for Jerry.
Read about Jerry Jones and the Worst Decade in Dallas Cowboys history in Ryan Bush's new book "Decade of Futility."  Use the following link to order your copy today:https://www.createspace.com/4161551

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Not Taking Advantage of Demarcus Ware's Potential May Be Saddest News Of All For Dallas Cowboys

Demarcus Ware will one day be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in all likelihood as a Dallas Cowboy. There will be smiles and hugs all around on that occasion.
But for now, just hours after the team officially released the nine-year veteran, all that can be felt is sadness. Sadness that Ware couldn't have finished his career in Dallas, and sadness that money had to be the primary reason for his departure. But most of all, their is sadness because Ware was never ...able to win a Super Bowl with the team that drafted him.
Bill Parcells' 2005 draft class with the Cowboys, of which Ware was the anchor, was supposed to vault America's Team back to the pinnacle of America's sport. Yet, NFL history books will forever acknowledge that it didn't.
In Dallas, a place that once knew the greatness of Landry, Staubach, and Aikman, failing to take full advantage of a player with the capabilities of Ware has become commonplace. And that, my friend, may be the saddest news of all.

You can read more about Bill Parcells' 2005 turnaround, and the Cowboys' struggles thereafter, in the book "Decade of Futility." Use this link to order you copy today:https://www.createspace.com/4161551


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Rumor: Jerry Jones Suffering From Alzheimers Disease

There is a rumor originating from inside the doors of Valley Ranch that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is suffering from the early effects of Alzheimers disease. If true, this could be the beginning of the end for Jerry........then again, it could be the beginning of the end for the Cowboys.

You can read more about Jerry Jones and the Worst Decade in Dallas Cowboys history in Ryan Bush's new book "Decade of Futility." Use the following link to order your copy today:https://www.createspace.com/4161551

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Saturday Night Massacre - 25 Years Later, Tom Landry's Firing Still A Day Of Infamy




 Bum Bright was a cold, hard Texas businessman who wouldn’t hesitate to throw tradition to the wind if there was a dollar to be made.  So in 1988, with his portfolio diminishing before his very eyes and creditors breathing down his neck, Bright placed the Dallas Cowboys on the open market. 

It wasn’t until the following winter that negotiations became serious between he and an ambitious oilman from a neighboring state.  After several days of closed door meetings which consisted mostly of squabbling over pennies, Bright produced the contract. 

What happened next was, in the words of William Oscar Johnson of Sports Illustrated, “a new low in insulting a living legend.”

A moment in time unlike any other, February 25, 1989 will always be associated with arrival and departure, with an abrupt greeting and a farewell that never was.  It was the day of a Tex, a Tom, and an Arkansas Jerry.  It was the day when a bleak evening meal in Austin gave way to an impromptu gathering in Dallas which earned the permanent stain of being a massacre.

Not just any massacre, but only “The Saturday Night Massacre.”


Tacos & Insensitivity


If the gravity of the situation had not been so intense, Tom Landry might have laughed out loud at the picture in front of him.  He, after all, was expecting news of a similar kind. 

Landry had learned the day before that the position which he had held for twenty-nine consecutive seasons was, in all likelihood, about to be taken from him by a new owner and a new regime. 

Always well dressed, always dignified, and always in control, Landry was, to many, a real man.  An invincible man.  And, maybe he was all of that.  But those infamous Saturday morning headlines…they must have shaken Landry to the core. 

After quietly ironing out the details of a bill of sale for the Dallas Cowboys football franchise behind everyone’s back, Arkansas oilman Jerry Jones had hit the front page of the morning paper in grand style.  There, in one of Landry’s favorite restaurants, sat Jones and the man rumored to be his replacement, Miami Hurricanes head coach Jimmy Johnson, at a booth eating tacos and apparently celebrating.

Not one to worry over something that was so obviously out of his control, Landry dismissed the bad news and duly flew to the state capital with his wife to spend a day with his family on a golf course.

Only a few hours later, Landry’s friend and business colleague, Tex Schramm, was to make the short plane ride from Dallas to Austin with Jones to make the news official.  Schramm, the Cowboys’ long-standing General Manager, and the man responsible for hiring Landry way back in December of 1959, had come south to watch one of the longest standing partnerships in all of sports come to an end.

For both Landry and Schramm, the moment was especially difficult.  After serving as co-captains of the Cowboys franchise for so long, they were suddenly helpless to defend their positions.  Jerry Jones was now in full control.

A forty-minute meeting in a sales office of the Hidden Hills Golf Course near Lake Travis was all Jones needed to dismiss Landry.  Not that it was easy for him, as Landry came very near to crying during the announcement.

Witnesses said when Jones emerged his face was white as a sheet.  He later was to remark, “It was the most inadequate I’ve ever felt.”

Obviously shaken, Landry went to have a somber dinner with his family.  Jones and Schramm were headed back to Dallas for the nightcap.


A Sad Christmas


In a rare moment of sound judgment, Jones followed Schramm’s advice to get Jimmy Johnson out of town. 

The media assembled for this press conference, though critical of Landry during the previous two seasons, were a somber group that night, fraught with emotions and reflections for a coach they shared a deep respect for.  For them, to see an outsider break in and shove Landry aside was irreconcilable.

Schramm, ashen-faced, walked up to the podium at the team’s Valley Ranch training complex and spoke into the microphone, “I want to introduce you to Jerry Jones, the new owner of the Dallas Cowboys.”

About thirty of Jones’ friends and family members immediately stood up and loudly applauded.  This inappropriate outburst was met by a host of silent, icy stares from bystanders.

“It had the same effect as laughing or cheering at a funeral,” wrote Bob St. John in his 1990 book, The Landry Legend.

Brandishing a Texas-sized grin with eyes glittering like tinsel on an evergreen, Jones then progressed to jump head-first into his opening remarks.

“This is like Christmas to me,” said Jones.  “The Cowboys are America.  They are more than a football team…”

After spending several minutes informing his pro-Landry audience of what a fine coach Jimmy Johnson was, Jones finally got around to acknowledging the monument that was no longer gracing the Dallas skyline.

“I gave no consideration in retaining Landry, even for one season,” allowed Jones.

A few more words, graced by another ill-timed outburst from the cheering section, and the party finally broke up.  At long last, the massacre was complete, the deed done.  Tom Landry had joined the land of the unemployed, with Schramm soon to follow.

The Cowboys would never be the same.

 “It’s the end of an era, our era,” stated former Cowboys defensive tackle Bob Lilly.  “A lot of old Cowboys are crying tonight.”

Every soul that ever followed the path of Landry’s life and career can sympathize.  Tom Landry was a man worth crying for.

Even then. 

Even now.


You can read more about Jerry Jones & The Saturday Night Massacre in Ryan Bush's new book "Decade of Futility."









Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Decade of Futility - Seven Years After Retirement, Parcells' Body of Work Seems Better Than Ever

It's been seven years since Bill Parcells hung up his play-sheet and whistle for the last time.  He has been sorely missed.
The past few seasons for the Cowboys have testified to the solid body of work that Parcells did during his four years in Dallas.  While it goes without saying that the current state of affairs at Valley Ranch seems to be tilting downward, Parcells had the Cowboys poised for a strong run when he retired.
I sometimes wonder how much longer Bill would have stayed in Dallas had he been, say, ten years younger. I'd like to say he would have been there till he got the Cowboys over the hump and at least within shouting distance of the Super Bowl, but the presence of Terrell Owens is a strong vote against that supposition.
These days there’s almost a nostalgic feeling that comes over the room when the name of Bill Parcells is brought up.  Parcells, you see, is the most recent link from the past that represents hope and prosperity.  While fans realize that the past is gone forever, they also realize the strong sense of comfort that memories of Parcells evoke.  For with Parcells the Cowboys had a future, and that’s more than can be said for the Cowboys seven years hence.
You can read about Bill Parcells' rebuilding project, his relationship with receiver Terrell Owens, and the complex circumstances surrounding his retirement in my new book "Decade of Futility."  You can order your copy today by using this link:https: https://www.createspace.com/4161551

Monday, January 20, 2014

Which is Worse? Richard Sherman vs. Jerry Rice & Kevin Smith

And here is your Football Conscience Question of the Day: Would you rather have Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman's self-promotional rant on national television from yesterday, or Dallas Cowboys cornerback Kevin Smith and San Francisco 49ers wideout Jerry Rice dog-cussing each other at midfield while throwing obscene gestures right and left in pregame warmups for the 1993 NFC Championship Game?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Sometimes Jerry Jones' "isms" Are Just Too Good Not To Repeat

Here it is straight from the owner's mouth, just in case you were wondering what Jerry's thoughts were on Bill Callahan, Monte Kiffin and fellow assistants: ""Those guys are still under contract. There are others that are under contract. There are others that are not. The real world is since I haven't, we haven't, addressed this thing is whatever their contract status is, and I don't want to get into what that status is, but whatever it is, it is."
Was it not Bill Clinton who first dared to speculate upon the meaning of the word "is"?

Jimmy Johnson's Texas Stadium Curtain Call Came Twenty Years Ago

Yesterday was the twenty-year anniversary of Jimmy Johnson's last home victory on the Texas Stadium sideline, as Johnson's Cowboys overpowered a good San Francisco team by a 38-21 margin. Dallas would win Super Bowl XXVIII two weeks later, before a spat between Johnson and owner Jerry Jones resulted in a highly publicized divorce.
It's safe to say that the Cowboys have not been the same since.