Shortly before the Cowboys took on the Atlanta Falcons in a winning effort in Arlington, Jerry Jones said that he believed a win over the then-4-1 Falcons would bring some credibility to the team--a quality win over a quality opponent that might, just might, suggest that these Cowboys weren't the middling hacks that many media outlets painted them as in the opening weeks of the season.
Perhaps that win, and the two that followed, were enough for some; but not many, according to the afternoon ESPN show SportsNation. The discussion began with a simple question: Do you believe in the Cowboys? To which, host Colin Cowherd had this harebrained theory to offer:
"No, I don't [believe in the Cowboys]," Cowherd said. "I have a theory on Dallas. Last 12 years, they haven't won a playoff game. They've had good coaches, good everything. They've had good players, they've had some good quarterbacks. Why is it? What is the common thread? They haven't won a playoff game. Quarterbacks? Nope. Coaches? Nope. Players? Nope. GMs? Nope. Oh, the constant's Jerry Jones. This is my theory on the Cowboys: Beginning of the season, Jerry backs off, lets the coaches run the team. But December, ratings go up, NFL gets serious, big games, he...can't...keep...away...Mr. Meddling. Team erodes, confidence erodes, Jerry's looking over our shoulder."
Underdeveloped football-theories aside, let's have a gander at some of these "facts:"
"Good coaches." Yes, he must be referring to that litany of coaching greats who made their way through Dallas to no avail: the likes of Chan Gailey and Dave Campo. Bill Parcells, certainly a coaching great, would have won if it weren't for Jerry; well, either that, or the fact that the Cowboys didn't play their home games in the year 1991.
"Good quarterbacks." Yes, plural. Of course, who could forget the deft shot-calling of such NFL greats as Chad Hutchinson, Anthony Wright, Quincy Carter, Clint Stoerner, Ryan Leaf, Drew Bledsoe... Well, you get the point.
And as far as GMs not being a constant, Jerry, as most four-year olds in Dallas could tell you, has held that post with white knuckles since 1994; we'll call that a mulligan.
Hating, and habitually bashing the Cowboys is an ever-fashionable, time-honored tradition, one that will likely never go away; and this is fine. If anything, fiery antipathy and petty dislike makes the game that much more enjoyable for all concerned. But when articulating the hows and whys of the Cowboys' ineptitude and generally deplorable nature as a franchise, at least get the facts straight.
It's all I ask.