The election that wrapped up on Tuesday night featured less talk of how much change was needed than your average conversation about the Dallas Cowboys. We'll see how the politicians fare in their mission, but the Cowboys actually did make one change on Tuesday.
The team cut linebacker Jason Williams, a 2009 third-round pick who had distinguished himself by being unable to win time in the base defense and by doing nothing to help the team on special teams. Ditching Williams certainly isn't going to save the season, but it's at least a nod to the fact that there are plenty of players on the roster who don't deserve to be accepting checks as professional football players.
Normally, such a circumstance would put the general manager on the hot seat. But, there's not much chance of that happening with the Cowboys. As you're surely aware, the Cowboys have eschewed the traditional power structure of a NFL front office in favor of letting Jerry Jones run everything right down to the changing of beer taps at his stately pleasure dome.
That's a shame, because Williams's departure highlights just how much the Cowboys need a change when it comes to personnel evaluations. He is the sixth member of the 12-man 2009 draft class to get cut by the team, a shocking number after less than two years even if Robert Brewster and Manuel Johnson have returned to the practice squad. Williams is also the fourth of the team's first seven picks to be sent packing and one of the others, quarterback Stephen McGee, hasn't played in a single regular season game.
The indictments just keep on coming. The two best players to come out of that class are reserve outside linebacker Victor Butler and erratic kicker David Buehler, hardly players that are going to send this team skyrocketing back into greatness in the years to come. That's an astonishingly bad job of drafting. The early returns on this year's crop aren't much better and 2007 was another horror show. And the years after Jimmy Johnson left hardly rewrote the book on effective draft processes. In short, this isn't just a swing and a miss by a normally crack scouting and personnel department.
It's worth remembering all of these failures whenever the talk of big changes comes up in the next few months because there really isn't going to be any fundamental change unless Double J accepts that it is better to have someone who knows football run the football operations of the franchise. That doesn't even mean a situation like the one that existed when Bill Parcells was in Dallas, because his control didn't go far enough to avoid the arrival of Terrell Owens and the inevitable end of that relationship meant that the next coach would be a yes-man who didn't threaten Jones's status at the top of the food chain.
Does anyone really think repeating that cycle is going to lead to a substantially different result on the field?
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