Recently, Jerry Jones made a front-office move that shocked many around the NFL. The Dallas Cowboys owner traded a fourth-round draft pick to the San Francisco 49ers for Trey Lance. In the aftermath of that deal, what wasn’t reported at the time is that Jones made the swap without consulting his football people. Most notably, Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy was not included in discussions about acquiring Lance.
“No, we, we didn’t tell anybody until we did it, period,” Jones said. “There was nobody that knew [about] it.”
On ESPN’s NFL Live, Louis Riddick weighed in on the situation.
“There is no way you can tell me Jerry [Jones] didn’t know what he was doing when he didn’t tell his franchise quarterback and his head coach we are acquiring [Trey Lance],” the former safety said.
Riddick and Dan Orlovsky — himself a former NFL QB — made good points about Jones going rogue in making this trade and what it could lead to. It’s been highly publicized how Dak Prescott doesn’t have the full respect of the organization. Forget what players, coaches, and Jones himself try to tell us. All you have to do is watch their actions regarding Prescott. Pay attention to what they do, not what they attempt to sell us.
Whether it’s Jones saying he “overpaid” for Dak’s services publicly after signing him to a massive extension when his rookie deal was expiring. Or trading for a former No. 3 overall pick, who is much younger and still seen by many as having a bright future in the NFL. Then there are incidents like the one during training camp between Trevon Diggs and Prescott following a play where he blatantly disrespected Dak. Call it what you will, but most franchise quarterbacks who’ve earned respect throughout the organization don’t publicly deal with this much internal contempt.
It isn’t surprising that Jones went off on his own and made the deal for Lance. We know Jones MO since he’s been the owner of the Cowboys. The only coach with any real authority was his first, Jimmy Johnson, and he was the last. Jones wouldn’t even let Bill Parcells completely control the team during his stint in Dallas. Parcells was against bringing in Terrell Owens; Jones did it anyway. This is just another move that shows how irrelevant the head coaching position is and has been for decades in Big D. It’s astonishing that Jones has yet to actually coach the team like his mentor, Al Davis.
This is the main reason it will never matter how much talent the Cowboys have; it’ll be nearly impossible to overcome the meddling of Jerry. It’s hard to tell a billionaire anything, especially when it comes to running their business. Although doing things “his way” hasn’t worked out or come close to producing championships. The team won when Jones mostly sat back and allowed football people to make decisions early on. Even then, Jones was still involved to some extent, but nothing like modern-day Jerry.
At this point, hoping Jones will change is merely an exercise in futility. Something will always stand in the way of Dallas climbing back to the NFL mountain top. It may not always be Jones’ fault, but one way or another, the trail usually leads back to decisions made by the man in charge. McCarthy is the head coach in title, mostly. Taking on play-calling duties is simply a way of gaining some power within the organization. That won’t matter in the grand scheme because everyone knows who has the real power in Dallas.