Dallas Cowboys: Jerry Jones Is The Classic Enabler

Nov 8, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on the sidelines prior to a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. Eagles won 33-27 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 8, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on the sidelines prior to a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. Eagles won 33-27 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports /

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has fallen back and allows son, Stephen, to run the football operations, but the elder Jones is still the classic enabler.

When owner and General Manager Jerry Jones fired two-time Super Bowl winning head coach Jimmy Johnson, people thought Jones had temporary lost his mind with such a mind boggling decision.

Two years later, the Cowboys organization was hoisting the Lombardi trophy and Jones looked like a genius, as if he knew what he was doing as a General Manager. Jones became the first owner in the Super Bowl era to hire two former college football coaches to win Super Bowl titles.

This became Jones’ downfall because he truly believed he was Tex Schramm reincarnated, and hired mediocre coaches, spent lavishly on average free agents, and drafted poorly.

Combine Jones’ ego and meddling ways, and the Cowboys quickly became the laughingstock of the NFL in the early 2000’s.

After firing Johnson and hiring coaches like Chan Gailey and Dave Campo, Jones hired future Hall of Famer Bill Parcells to lead the Cowboys back to respectability. The Cowboys had suffered three straight 5-11 seasons under Campo.

Under Parcells, it appeared Jones had  rediscovered his mind and learned to be an owner.

We all know that Jones still meddled, but fast forward to 2016, and Jones is more like the defacto General Manager than the one who made unwise draft choices and overpaid for free agents.

Finally, Jones listens to his son, Stephen, and Will McClay, senior director of college pro personnel, the latter finding the players and running the draft. Stephen is the one who stopped Jerry from drafting Johnny Manziel back in the 2014 draft.

Also, the younger Jones is responsible for NOT overpaying former running back DeMarco Murray to remain with the Cowboys. Further, the elder Jones and Stephen rely heavily on the football acumen of Will McClay, who deserves the bulk of the credit for the Cowboys current roster and Pro Bowl players.

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With Jones in the background answering the telephones on draft day, he still suffers from a major character flaw: Jerry Jones is an enabler in the worse way possible.

As much praise as I’ll give ole Jerral for giving players second, third, and fourth chances, I’ll give him a bad grade for enabling players who screw up and are never held accountable.

For example, middle linebacker Rolando McClain is serving a 10-game suspension for an opiate known as the “purple drank”. However, it’s the other instances that led up to the suspension.

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McClain shenanigans include no-shows for this year’s OTA’s, a suspicious fire ruled arson (McClain wasn’t charged), and the middle linebacker served a four-game suspension in 2015.

McClain has all the markings of a player who is enabled by a higher authority. His non-chalant and don’t-care attitude was routinely displayed.

I understand that McClain is one talented player that can do so many things, so I recognize why the Cowboys’ brass puts up with his behavior. McClain is able to behave in such a manner because of Jones.

The owner creates an atmosphere where he cuddles his star athletes and doesn’t hold them accountable or responsible. He credits them for all the wrong reasons.

Jones defended Greg Hardy for an outburst on the sideline last season and acknowledged him as a leader when the pass rusher was a cancer in the locker room. Hardy acted this way because Jones allowed it.

There were no consequences or anything.

The troubled edge rusher is no longer with the team. That’s because of a lack of production, not because Jones is the male version of Mother Teresa.

Hardy would still run amok and be the cancerous teammate if he tallied 16 sacks, 20 pressures, 85 tackles, an interception, and returned a fumble for a touchdown.

Although Demarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory are solely responsible for their multi-game suspensions, I wonder if the enabling atmosphere created by Jones is indirectly responsible for their dumb choices?

Once again, I blame Lawrence and Gregory for their poor decision making. However, when there are no consequences from the owner or no line drawn in the sand, players tend to do whatever, even if it means serving a four-game suspension.

Why you might ask?

Jones will be there with open arms after Lawrence and Gregory serve their suspension.

Jones will praise Lawrence with a statement like this: This man here is a leader of men, a hero in the locker room, someone the younger players can look up too. He’s a model Cowboys, the standard bearer. We look forward to DeMarcus’ name being in the Cowboys Ring of Honor. He’s a class act.

There are times where I believe Jones is an advocate for at-risk youth or fighting for those wrongly accused rather than a billionaire owner trying to win Super Bowl titles.

In order for Jones to thrive with enabling players, he needs a puppet coach to co-sign with this foolishness. That is where head coach Jason Garrett serves his purpose.

Notice how Garrett either makes a general statement about a player’s behavior or claps loudly on the sidelines, never doing or saying anything of substance.

Former head coach Jimmy Johnson would not tolerate this buffoonery. Never.

Before anyone argues that his players misbehaved, too, I’ll say that they performed on Sundays and won their head coach two Super Bowl trophies.

Under Johnson’s regime, the players were under constant fear of a coach who would cut a player for falling asleep during in a team meeting.

Of course, Johnson would’nt cut ties with players like quarterback Troy Aikman, Michael Irving, or Emmitt Smith for doing the exact same thing.

Indeed, those Hall of Fame players knew they couldn’t miss games because of stupid suspensions and off-the field behavior on a consistent basis. Eventually, they would have felt the wrath of Johnson and been dismissed.

Johnson was the strict parent to Jones being the easy-going grandfather.

Jerry Jone is like a grandparent to these players, not a boss. Grandparents let the grandchildren run wild, feed them ice cream at bedtime, and lett them get away with virtually everything.

They are definitely the classic enabler, just like Jerry Jones.