After criticizing Jason Garrett for his admittedly terrible play-calling late against the Patriots, the Double J stepped back yesterday to express regret for undermining his coach. But Jen Engel at FOX notes that we've seen this type of thing from the Double J far too often to trust that he's learned his lesson. Engel notes that Jerry is chronically unable to keep himself from meddling:
What Jones did is what he always does: sweep his coaches' legs in a moment of anger and frustration... It does not matter that what Jerry said about Garrett is right. It was. It is that it was said aloud. It devalues the coach, which unfortunately is standard operating procedure in Dallas.
Engel is dead right on this. Ever since taking over the Cowboys, the Double J has gone to great lengths to keep himself at the public forefront of the organization. From the opening of Jerryworld to his weekly radio appearances, it seems as if Jerry is in front of a microphone 24 hours a day. And regardless of what he says, his mere PRESENCE out there in the ether makes it harder for Garrett to do his job well. Garrett is a first year head coach. He's growing into the job, and he desperately needs to be able to assert his authority over the team, since rookie coaches have such a tenuous grasp on their players. With Jerry out in front of the team all the time, that makes it virtually impossible for Garrett to do. If you're a disgruntled Cowboys player and you aren't happy with something Garrett did, are you just gonna sit there and take it? Of course not. You're gonna bypass the chain of command and go to the Double J, because you know he's really the one in charge.
That dynamic is what has been killing the Cowboys for over a decade now. Engel cites Mark Cuban as an example of a formerly outspoken owner who decided to keep his thoughts to himself and saw his franchise flourish as a result. And it says a whole lot about Jerry Jones that even Mark Cuban can look deferential by comparison. Engel doesn't think Jones will ever be able to change his ways, and his apology yesterday didn't do much to make us think otherwise. It's a shame, because this could be a good team if it wasn't always Jerry's team.