Dallas Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones looks on during a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at Dallas Cowboys Stadium on August 21, 2009 in Arlington.
“It starts at the top.”
This old truism is generally agreed upon by all, which, we guess, is what makes it a truism. Just what “it” is, depends on who you ask. It could be leadership, or accountability. It could be a certain mentality--a mindset. In any of these respects, if we are to believe that any of these things “start at the top,” we may as well eulogize the 2010 Dallas Cowboys now.
After last week’s 23-21 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, the Cowboys locker room was stunned into near silence. What little was said was peppered with excuses. Mike Jenkins called a controversial 4th quarter pass interference call, er, “bull-bleep;” defensive end Marcus Spears, who is usually an image of accountability, said that the team has the worst luck of any team in the league.
Which might be true, but that’s not the point. Bad luck gets a lot worse when you make mistakes at the rate of the Cowboys, which is to say, when you put on a clinic in miscues each week, bad luck isn’t necessarily the culprit to be bemoaned in the locker room after. Maybe Jenkins, too, had a point. The call was ticky-tack--but, by the letter of the law, Jenkins was guilty.
From whence do these excuses come?
Perhaps the head coach, who once attributed his struggling kickers’ woes to a windy day, but we don’t think that’s it. We think this culture of sparse accountability and a lot of complaining, indeed, starts at the top--with the head honcho himself, Jerry Jones. After last week’s loss, Jones said to the Dallas Morning News that a referee told him at halftime, “I've got to get my head in the game. ...
“That is a part of it," Jones continued. "That sounds like an excuse, but they're not unnecessarily above mistakes, either.”
Yeah, it sounds like an excuse to us too, Jerry.
Indeed, it starts at the top. In the Cowboys’ case, this is not a good thing.
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