Let me start off by saying that I don’t hate Jerry Jones, nor do I think that the Cowboys would be better off with out him. I believe that Jerry Jones does everything possible to win with-in the strictures of the salary cap era. There is not a doubt in my mind, that if he could, he would buy a championship whenever the possibility to do so arose. That is not the NFL world that he lives in though.
Jerry cares a great deal about winning, but he also cares a great deal about his players. He treats most of them like family and he wants everybody to be a Cowboy for life, this really hurts the team. Jones consistently renews his veterans’ contracts when they are too old. Sometimes giving a player that third contract is not a good idea, sometimes the second deal wasn’t even a good idea. We have seen him jump the gun on guys like Marion Barber and Miles Austin before as well. So it is a little bit of both worlds.
When Jay Ratliff signed his second deal with Dallas it was right around a 5 year 19 million dollar contract, very team friendly. In this case the Cowboys should have let him play out the contract and said “good day”. Nope. They decide, instead, that Ratliff is outperforming the deal and shred it up 3 quarters through. Jay Ratliff gets a 6 year extension for 40 something million and does nothing after the fact to earn any of it. It might have seemed shrewd at the time but Jerry should have held off.
Demarcus Ware and Jason Witten are 2 veterans that are eating up a huge chunk of cap space at the moment. Ware is only on his second contract but he is not worth the hit, not even close. Demarcus has one year left in Dallas if he is lucky, so all of those times that he restructured is going hit this team when they do finally cut-ties with the future Hall-Of Famer. When he re-signed in 2009 he was coming off of a 20 sack season so this one is hard to get mad about.
Witten was re-signed in 2011, the same season as Ratliff. He was already signed through 2013, why extend him at this point? Let him play through the contract. Jason Witten did not warrant this extension and Tight Ends of his un-athletic ways are going extinct. Jerry was too loyal.
These two moves are just examples of the types of moves that the Cowboys must avoid in the future. Transactions, such as these hinder a team from making the leap that this team is so desperate for.
So Mr. Jones, start treating this like a business, which everyone accuses you of anyways.