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With Injuries Mounting in Dallas, Jerry Jones Can’t Hide His Mounting Desperation

Image via Zimbio

Image via Zimbio

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been one of the most polarizing figures in sports for decades. Love him or hate him, and you almost certainly hate him, there’s no denying his success. Since Jones bought the team for $150 million in 1989, its’ value has skyrocketed to $4 billion, making it the most valuable franchise in the world.

Jones made quite a first impression—it took him a mere two seasons to transform a stagnant Cowboys team into the flashiest dynasty in NFL history, winning three Super Bowls in four years. But for as much success as Jones enjoyed as an owner early on, as a general manager he’s been struggling to adapt in the salary cap era for nearly 20 years.

Despite his best efforts, Dallas averaged an underwhelming eight wins per season between 2000 and 2013. So when the Cowboys surprised with a 12-4 record in 2014, Jones, whose desire to win is surpassed only by his insatiable thirst for the spotlight, was everywhere. It’s hard to imagine he delegated a single task all year—something at which he’s never excelled.

At no point was that more apparent than during an upset overtime loss to the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football last October. When Tony Romo was taken to the locker room after sustaining a back injury in the second half, Jones fled his box to personally oversee his quarterback’s medical evaluation. He then took it upon himself to keep coach Jason Garett fully abreast of the situation, by hovering around him on the sideline and otherwise being an absolute menace.

Although the Cowboys would flame out in the playoffs, as they do, their suddenly promising future was all it took to create a mountain of unrealistic expectations in Jerry World. Having undergone a full hip replacement in July, the pressure to win now has reached a fever pitch for Jones, who will be 73 next month. Not helping matters is Romo, who apparently has told Jones he’s got maybe four years before the Grim Reaper shows up at his doorstep.

It’s a precarious position for the dedicated owner of a team that has routinely proven itself to be, at least in recent years, the living embodiment of Murphy’s Law. Just two games into the this season and the Cowboys are already in the worst possible situation imaginable for an undefeated team sitting atop their division.

Dallas was already down a man after losing running back DeMarco Murray to free agency, a loss that was only compounded in Week 1 when stud wideout Dez Bryant suffered a foot fracture that is expected to keep him out 10-12 weeks. The good news is Bryant’s absence won’t be felt much by quarterback Tony Romo! The bad news is that it’s because Romo’s expected to miss at least eight weeks after suffering a broken clavicle in Week 2.

Image via Zimbio

Image via Zimbio

Starting in his place will be Brandon Weeden, a former first round draft pick the Cleveland Browns thought so little of that they gave him the stanky boot after just two seasons. And Weeden might be without one of the Cowboys longest standing and reliable weapons, tight end Jason Witten, who is battling two sprained ankles and a sprained knee. His status for Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons is questionable. 

Despite being set a drift on a sea of uncertainty, Jones remains confident that both Bryant and Romo will be available come December, all the Cowboys have to do is keep themselves in playoff contention in the meantime. That’s easier said than done, of course, but the fact that the NFC East is a dumpster fire works in their favor.

From the outside looking in, the biggest concern in Dallas moving forward will obviously be the play of Weeden, whose body of work isn’t especially reassuring. Not that you’d know that based on the comically enthusiastic assessment Jones offered up during a recent interview on KRLD’s Shan and RJ show.

“This quarterback Weeden can drive the ball down field,” Jones said. “He’s a thing of beauty on throwing a football. His passing motion and his arm, frankly, you won’t see a more gifted passer, power, accuracy, the entire aspect of it. If he can basically prepare, be the starting quarterback, come in and execute and keep his head right, then I feel good about Weeden.”

Did he seriously say that Brandon Weeden is the most gifted passer currently visible to the naked eye? Expect faux underdogs Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady to throw this on their respective pile of imaginary axes to grind because it’s just them against the world. Even Weeden’s mom is like…maybe you oversold that one just a little, Jerry.

Every word spoken by Jones on this “We’re going to be fine” press tour provides a glimpse into his growing desperation, which used to be amusing, but now it’s just getting kinda sad.

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