Dallas Sports Musings for December 22, 2013
By Matthew Postins
How on earth does a team that’s .500 after 15 weeks of the NFL season dominate headlines at a time of year when the playoff race should be the focus? When you’re the Dallas Cowboys and your team is led by Jerry Jones, that’s how.
Jerry Jones isn’t worried about fan apathy. Why? Here’s what he told listeners of 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday morning: ““Not with games like the other day. That’s, you know, that’s a show, if you want to look at it that way. That’s not what we’re there to do. We’re there to win the ballgame and go forward and win the next ballgame.”
Wow, Jones came darn close to admitting the Cowboys get as much attention for being a train wreck as for being a good team. Of course, we all know the Cowboys are a train wreck at this point. All that’s left is the investigation.
Jones continued by talking about why he won’t hire someone else to be the general manager. “Well, who in the world do you think that person, when they walk through the door and say we want to get this player and we want to pay this player, what in the world do you think I’m going to do? I’m going to sit down, and I’m going to go through it, and I’m going to say, ‘Show me the player. Show me everything about the player.’
“Well, rather than that have happen, I get involved and know everything there is to know about the players before they get to the door.”
Jones knowing everything about every player isn’t the issue. The issue is that he doesn’t pick the right players, more often than not. And that’s because while most GM’s were paying their dues as players, coaches or personnel evaluators Jones was drilling oil wells. Not a dig, just a fact.
Jones said hiring a GM would be like “duplicating work.” Aw, so he’s being efficient. That’s good business. Unless you like winning.
Jones says that quarterback Tony Romo doesn’t have too much latitude when it comes to changing plays at the line of scrimmage. In fact, he liked the aggressiveness that Romo showed in changing the play and throwing the interception. Jones felt the Cowboys had to match Green Bay’s aggressiveness in that moment. You mean in that moment where the Cowboys could have run the football two more times and at least would have forced Green Bay to take their final time out and whittled the clock down to the two-minute warning before punting? You mean that moment, Jerry? Or do you mean the litany of moments after the Cowboys had a 29-10 lead and could have just milked the clock with a dominant run game?
Is it possible that everyone from Jones on down to Jason Garrett were just so stunned how well the Cowboys were able to run the football that they just didn’t know what to do with themselves? And if so doesn’t that concern anyone?
Bill Callahan falls on the sword for Tony Romo and takes responsibility for that game-changing interception. About the play, Callahan said, “It came up so quick, so fast we still had the tag (run/pass call) on the play. We felt it wasn’t the time to take it off. I should have taken it off. I’ll live with that.”
If the game moves too fast for the offensive coordinator, then he probably shouldn’t be the offensive coordinator anymore. Am I right?
Callahan did say at one point “this is crazy,” ostensibly about all of the questioning about one play. But it’s been overreaction week around here and Bill, this ain’t Lincoln.
And by the way, we all know the criticism of Romo is, to some degree, unfair. But that’s what you sign up for when you play quarterback in the NFL. That’s the reality. Until he stops making mistakes in those moments, the criticism will continue.
Shin-Soo Choo and the Texas Rangers have reportedly agreed to a seven-year, $130-million deal. Remember last season when the Rangers had such a poor offseason that they had to sign Lance Berkman and hope for the best? Not this year. Nope, the Rangers have taken the guesswork out of their lineup by trading for Prince Fielder, one of the game’s best power bats, and Choo, one of the game’s best at drawing walks. Merry Christmas, Rangers fans, reinforcements have arrived. And all the Rangers gave up was Ian Kinsler and money. Not bad, Jon Daniels, not bad at all.
So the Rangers have the draft rights to both Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson and Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston? And Winston told reporters shortly after winning the Heisman Trophy that he “wants to be better than Bo Jackson.” Winston didn’t really specify what that meant. But let’s go ahead and start some dual-sport rumors, shall we?
You know, Jerry could save Jameis a lot of wear and tear and just draft him in 2015 and share him with the Rangers, like the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta Braves did Deion Sanders. Because, as in all things baseball and football, you can never have enough arms.
Baker Mayfield announces he’ll transfer to Oklahoma. Sorry, SMU. That would have been a useful arm. The Mustangs have a half-dozen quarterbacks on their roster right now. Oddly, none are from the state of Texas.
The Dallas Mavericks have blown 17, 18 and 19-point leads in losses recently. That’s concerning if I’m Rick Carlisle. This team is actually good enough to build big leads because it is explosive on offense. Dirk Nowitzki said after Friday’s loss to Toronto, “We’ve got to be the team that loses leads quicker than any team in the league.” Not a stat you want to lead the league in any sport.
One last thing. Congrats to Kari Lehtonen, who notched is 100th win as a Dallas Stars when the Stars beat the Vancouver Canucks. Lehtonen is the seventh goalie in Stars history to win at least 100 games. The all-time leader? Marty Turco with 262 wins, who has 102 more wins that No. 2, Ed Belfour. Good luck catching up to that, Kari.