Dallas Cowboys: Stephen Jones’ mistakes

ABC commentator Al Michaels talks with Dallas Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones November 14, 2005 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles 21 - 20. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
ABC commentator Al Michaels talks with Dallas Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones November 14, 2005 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles 21 - 20. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) /

Stephen Jones spoke with the media a few times over the last week, and said what he sees as the direction of the Dallas Cowboys this offseason. This should be upsetting to fans.

Over the last seven days, Stephen Jones spoke with media a few times. The topics covered everything from coaching, to free agency, and even the current roster. After a disappointing season, it appears Stephen Jones doesn’t see much wrong with the Dallas Cowboys.

He couldn’t be more mistaken, and more wrong.


The first topic brought up a week ago was that of Jason Garrett. While it has all be assured Garrett will return in 2018 (which I highly disagree with), what Jones said about the problems should be troubling to any fan of the Dallas Cowboys. Jones came out and reiterated his family’s stance on Garrett by saying,

"“I think Jason has had a lot of success here,” Jones said. “At times when we have had an off season there’s been some extenuating circumstances and I just think Jason is a great head football coach.”"

The problem here is when looking around the league, and the upcoming Super Bowl, extenuating circumstances are pretty frequent in the NFL, and teams like the Eagles and Vikings with second year coaches, show the flaw in Jones’ thinking.

Both teams lost their starting quarterbacks, and the Eagles were plagued with injuries to not just depth players, but Pro-Bowl caliber players. This didn’t slow down the team because the coaches made adjustments, the owners brought in quality players, and the teams kept moving. We all know how bad the Dallas Cowboys were with the few injuries to key players they had.

The coaching has been a major issue for several years. This includes adjustments, scheme, playcalling, clock management, and much more. Yet, Stephen and Jerry stand firm behind Jason Garrett and sadly, there is very little we as fans can do to change this. We all have to hope and pray Garrett becomes something many feel he will never be.


That was just the start, the next big topic was free agency. While several years ago, the Dallas Cowboys could almost be assured in the headlines for making a huge splash in free agency. But over the past few years we have seen less involvement. The thinking is to save money, be frugal, and sign your current talent. The problem is they have gone too far to the opposite direction.

Jones said this last week,

"“We just really need to focus on this draft, do well in the draft, and then work the edges and work the opportunities we may see come our way that would improve our football team.”"

However, again looking at the successful teams this season, many spent in free agency to improve their roster with quality. For an example, look no further than the Eagles.

Last year, the Eagles signed Nick Foles, Torrey Smith, Alshon Jeffery, Chris Long, LeGarrette Blount, and Timmy Jernigan just to name a few. All of these players were key players for the Eagles push to the Super Bowl.

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The Dallas Cowboys, meanwhile, worked the edges and got Nolan Carroll, Stephen Paea, Demontre Moore, Byron Bell, and Robert Blanton. The first three, were off the roster by mid-season. Yet, Stephen said to expect the same in free agency.

Adding talent in free agency and keeping cap space is a problem for all teams in the NFL. There are ways to add the talent without breaking the bank, but instead, the Dallas Cowboys seem happy with finding bit players and third stringers in free agency. There seems to be more misses than hits in recent years, which could be a problem. Much of the focus is keeping flawed players instead of improving roster spots.

This brings us to the final topic of the current roster. Stephen when speaking about free agency had this to say about the current roster and the talent;

"“Right now we’re fortunate to have some really solid football players, great football players. Our goals are to keep our players,” Jones said. “And when you start to look at DeMarcus Lawrence and you look at Zack Martin and then you look at a guy like Anthony Hitchens and David Irving, that’s a handful just to keep your own — much less go shopping for something else."

The thing is, every team has to figure out how to keep talent and get better. What is happening is the Dallas Cowboys are overvaluing their talent and undervaluing other talent. It is why Terrance Williams was signed to what has been a complete waste of money. While they have gotten better at evaluating talent in the draft, they are either not listening to Will McClay in free agency or are completely wrong in how they evaluate other teams’ talent.

Next: Why the Cowboys 'blasting' players is good news

These mistakes of Stephen Jones’ only compound the mistakes of his father Jerry. While Stephen has allowed some more cap relief, there are huge problems forming that need to be fixed now. Right now it looks like 2018 will need some help if it is going to be successful, until then, we wait and hope things improve. If not it could be another lost season.