If you've caught any of Chris Mortensen's training camp tour on ESPN, you know that the segment mainly exists so Mort can lay claim to the football announcer with a bus niche left absent by John Madden's retirement. It's secondary purpose is to give the "casual" fan a quick primer on the big name worth knowing in every NFL town. He visited with Drew Brees in New Orleans and Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo, for example, and in Dallas his only guest was Jerry Jones.
The two men discussed their respective buses in one clip and toured the new stadium in the other. Along the way they found no time at all to discuss the guys who have their checks signed by Jones. That may call Mortensen's status as a insider into question, but it is hard to fault him too much for his choice. Looking around the Cowboys right now, it's impossible to find a bigger star than Jones.
There are two reasons for this development. The first is the deliberate move to cut down on the roster's star power during the offseason, and the simultaneous push of the Cowboys as a team that was only going to be as good as the sum of its parts. The second is the aforementioned football palace that's designed to celebrate the Cowboys as a team beyond compare in all of sports.
Get used to seeing a lot of Jones' face, because there doesn't figure to be any end in sight. The first home preseason game will be on national television, and Jones will certainly make an appearance to talk about his gleaming new castle. The first two Cowboys home games are prime time affairs, and Jones will be gloating about the huge crowds and massive video screen to both of those audiences as well. Throw in Sunday morning show appearances, visits from various print outlets and a million other things and it's a sure bet that you won't be missing Double J this season.
The center of the Dallas Cowboys universe.
If all goes well there will be one or two players who surpass the man upstairs by the time all is said and done. For right now, though, America's Team is Jerry's Team.