You can overdo it, but it is important in looking at personnel decisions to consider the interest and entertainment value — Jerry Jones.
Despite numerous (and fairly convincing) rumors around Valley Ranch this week, Dan Reeves will not be joining the Dallas Cowboys front office.
In a statement released Wednesday night, the Cowboys said: "We had two very good days of dialogue with Dan Reeves, and both the Cowboys and Dan had an interest in working together. By Wednesday afternoon, we were unable to reach an agreement on all of the details of a contract, and both parties were comfortable with the fact that Dan would not be joining the organization. Jerry [Jones] holds Dan in the highest regard as a friend and a tremendous contributor to the history of the Cowboys and the NFL."
Earlier this off-season, Reeves said in an interview that the team needed greater cohesiveness with respect to personnel. “I think you’ve got to have people with great character first,” he said. Reeves went on to name T.O. and Adam “Pacman” Jones specifically. Jones is gone, Owens, at the moment, is still here.
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Whether or not Reeves would have been effective in Dallas is debatable.
However, it is likely that his first task would have concerned reshaping the character of the team. His radio comments lead one to believe that Terrell Owens would have been something of a priority for Reeves; namely, Owens would need to change, to some degree, or be ridden out of town on the rails.
Owner Jerry Jones undertook a great “character” experiment in the late-nineties and early-2000's with minimal success before seemingly abandoning the idea altogether. The fervor with which Jones pursued Pacman and Owens had only been seen once before, in 1994, when the Cowboys signed Deion Sanders. Sanders came to town, the cowboys won and everything was copacetic, it seemed.
Then, the Cowboys fell gradually into mediocrity, and questions of character emerged ubiquitously. Thus began the Cowboys’ short-lived “character” era, during which they famously drafted Ebenezer Ekuban over Randy Moss (who had ‘character issues’). This experiment did not last long; character, in and of itself, doesn’t win championships and Jones (and every Dallas fan with a pulse) wants championships, fast and many.
Why the team was unable to come to terms with Reeves is unclear at this point, but if I know Jerry, he does not want to relinquish any power or, certainly, any of his big, expensive toys (see Terrell Owens). He has said on numerous occasions that he bought this team to run it, and run it he will.
Jones is a businessman’s businessman, for good or for ill, a modern P.T. Barnum, only traveling circuses are out; professional football is where the money is, these days. As much as Jones loves the publicity of a good, old-fashioned circus, he hates losing just as much. It’s reconciling these character traits that’s going to be the tricky part.