Team chemistry is one of the mysteries of professional sports, on the level of Sasquatch and the Loch Ness Monster.
Some think it exists, some don't, but there are a litany of names who would swear on their children's eyes that they've seen it.
I get the feeling Jerry Jones isn't one of them.
Jones has insisted consistently that chemistry was not a factor in the decision to cut Terrell Owens, or any other shift in personnel for that matter; he remains convinced that chemistry is not a cause of success, but rather one of its effects.
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Tim MacMahon, of DMN Cowboys Blog fame, addressed the issue in a post this morning, providing quotes that indicate little change in Jerry's stance.
"Let's wait on that until we see," said Jones."If we're winning, you'll have a good report back from the locker room about chemistry. If we don't, then you'll bring up chemistry issues and we'll say, 'Well, we've got a little chemistry issue.' That goes with winning and losing."
While Jones is an often-joked-about figure--probably the most joked about figure in the context of Dallas sports--the fact remains that he is the owner of three Super Bowl trophies. And he, possibly more than any other owner, was close to those championship teams.
So does Jones have a point?
It does seem that chemistry is just a bit overblown these days, propelled by ESPN and their pressing need to attribute a given team's loss to something, anything, more interesting and complicated than the simple fact that they suck, or did suck on a given night.
Take, for example, the 2008 Cowboys. They relied far too heavily on the home run on offense, became stale and predictable, and ultimately had several key flaws (we're looking at you, Brad Johnson) that sank them like the Bismarck from Week 4 on. Basically, as much as it pains me to say, they kind of sucked.
It was only then that you heard about 'chemistry,' and the grave detriment Terrell Owens' passing displeasure with the offense did to the team. People often forget that in the "Glory Days" of the early 90s, Charles Haley--a cog on that vaunted defensive unit-- hated a great deal of his teammates, a sentiment that they echoed back to the defensive end. But they won, so I suppose team chemistry was spot on; basically, they didn't suck.
So Jerry Jones' stance on chemistry makes sense. Not like the thought that the team should play up to the level of their venue. That's just crazy.