Cowboys: 10 Worst Decisions By Jerry Jones

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No. 4 – Trading For Joey Galloway

If you thought that No. 6 on this list was bad, that’s relatively tame compared to this management nuke that Jones dropped on the franchise as the new millennium dawned.

First, a quick history of what led to this move: The Cowboys had won back-to-back Super Bowls with wide receiver Michael Irvin and Alvin Harper. When the latter took for Tampa Bay via free agency in early 1995, the odyssey began to find a relatively cheap replacement for Irvin’s counterpart.

After wingin’ it with receivers such as Kevin Williams, Anthony Miller, Billy Davis, Jeff Ogden and Patrick Jeffires from 1996 through 1998, Jones knew he had to open his pocket book for a compliment to Irvin – fair enough.

Former Notre Dame superstar Raghib ‘Rocket’ Ismail hit the free agent market in 1999 and became the biggest free-agent expenditure on a wide receiver in the history of the Jones era.

The Irvin and Ismail tandem would be short lived.

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At 3-0 to start the ’99 season, the Cowboys were faced with a five-game stretch which included four road games, the first taking place at the dilapidated Veteran’s Stadium in Philadelphia. Irvin went down early in that contest and after being carried off the dirty carpet the Eagles called home, ‘The Playmaker’ never came back to football.

This left Ismail as the only viable deep threat on the roster, and that had to change.

In early ’00, the Seattle Seahawks were in the same kind of stand-off that the Cowboys were in with Dez Bryant before the start of training camp last summer. Unlike the Cowboys, the Seahawks opted to trade their star wide receiver, Joey Galloway, who was a true speedster that had been tagged as Seattle’s franchise player.

Jones pulled the trigger at a cost of two first-round draft picks and a fat new contract for the former Ohio State receiver. On paper, it looked like Jones had given Aikman a top-flight duo of receivers to carry the franchise through at least the remainder of Aikman’s career – but that happened to be much closer than anybody expected.

In his very first game with the Cowboys to begin ’00, Galloway tore an ACL and was lost for the entire season during the waning minutes of an opening day blowout loss to the Eagles at Texas Stadium. This was quite possibly the worst game in the history of the Cowboys franchise, and that’s not an exaggeration when considering the long-term ramifications that it brought forth.

Dallas would stumble to the first of three-straight 5-11 seasons while also losing Aikman for good in a December game against the Washington Redskins at Texas Stadium. There sat Jones with no franchise quarterback, an expensive receiver on injured reserve and no first round pick in the 2001 NFL Draft – which is why No.5 on this list happened in the first place.

This trade wasn’t as horrible as it was because of Galloway, who was a highly productive receiver that never really got to play with Aikman. This was a disaster because of it’s timing and there’s a far better chance than not that Jones knew that Aikman was heading into his final season with the Cowboys simply for financial reasons.

In conclusion, Jones should have just drafted Randy Moss in the 1998 NFL Draft – this move could drastically changed the course of this franchise in ways the we’ll never completely understand.

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