Stephen Jones, Dallas Cowboys vice president, his father, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie ( left-right) talk before the start of their game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 30, 2011 in Philadelphia.
Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions – on a sesame-seed bun.
The year was 1974 and, as an impressionable 10-year-old punk, I was wide-eyed about fast-food in general and McDonald’s new hamburger in specific. It was a double-decker delight. And it was trumpeted into our lives with the coolest, catchiest theme song on TV. (No, there wasn’t a DVR to skip the ads back then.)
Had to have the special sauce. The special sauce made the Big Mac. Everyone in every home on every sandwich attempted to duplicate the special, secret sauce. And now, just like that, the Cowboys have the secret sauce?
Indeed, at least according to team vice president Stephen Jones, honing his quirky hyperbole in preparation for sooner-than-later filling Dad’s shoes. At Valley Ranch Tuesday Stephen volunteered the most unique asset in the history of America's Team.
“Obviously we feel like we have a great organization in the Cowboys, but we can always be better,” he said. “We look for ways to be better. We do that both on the field and off the field. We’re convinced we’ve got the ‘secret sauce’ to put this thing back together again and win championships.”
Wait, what the what?!
I mean, Dez Bryant is elite and Tony Romo can be spectacular and DeMarco Murray and Sean Lee and DeMarcus Ware and Jason Witten and Monte Kiffin and … C’mon. Secret sauce? Who does Stephen think he is, Ronald McDonald himself?
As you sit down to dig into the Cowboys’ 2013 menu, you can’t possibly ignore the recent meals that have left us with a bitter taste in our mouths, if not altogether nauseated or perhaps violently ill.
Since they won Super Bowl XXX after the ’95 season, the Cowboys are 138-134. Secret sauce?
In the last 16 years they’ve won exactly one playoff game. Secret sauce?
They last two seasons they’ve lost NFC East Championship Games and missed the post-season with 8-8 records. Secret sauce?
Only three NFC teams – Lions, Vikings and Redskins – haven’t been to a Super Bowl more recently than the Cowboys. Secret sauce?
The Cowboys are in the midst of by far the franchise’s longest championship drought. Secret sauce?
If “secret sauce” is Stephen’s code for “friggin’ desperate,” then I totally dig it. Regardless, it’s got to be one of the strangest rallying cries in all sports history.
“Just Win, Baby!”
“Luv Ya Blue!”
And, um, “Secret Sauce!”?
“Our commitment when we started was no more 8-8s,” Stephen said. “I think we’ve got good personnel. I think we’ve got a great staff. I think we can do that. We need to stay healthy. We need to stay focused. We need to get better every day. And I think we’ll be better than 8-8.”
Of course at the dawn of the Big Mac 38 years ago the Cowboys weren’t oozing the special sauce either. In ’74 – after nine consecutive post-season appearances – they finished 8-6 … and missed the playoffs.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his fiancee, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.