By Matthew Postins
Some weeks it’s a struggle for Postscripts to find the humor in the DFW sports scene. And then some weeks Jerry Jones opens his mouth and all is right with the world.
Jones tells reporters that Jason Garrett’s job is safe for 2014. So I guess no one pointed out to Jerry that he fired Chan Gailey for doing more (18-14, 2 playoff berths in two seasons) than Garrett has done in three-plus seasons (26-24, no playoff berths). Is this a situation in which Jones’ standards have dropped or in which he has boundless faith in a .500 coach?
Among Jones’ great nuggets from his Thursday comments on Garrett? “We’re positioned to get in the playoffs. We see logically how to get in the playoffs. We have that, for all practical purposes, in our control.” You mean like the last two seasons when you had a chance to win the NFC East in the final week and laid an egg both times? Like that, Jerry?
Jones tells radio listeners on Friday that he wants to remain the general manager for “15 to 20 more years.” So mark you calendars, everyone. Dallas Cowboys – Super Bowl LXVIII (68) champions, assuming Jones’ estimate is on the short end (he would be 86) and his son, Stephen, does the smart thing and hires a legit GM and gives him five years to build a winner.
Part of Jones’ rationale for staying in the GM seat for at least another decade? “The facts are I really do think, the way things have rolled out, I’m getting to do some of the best work that I’ve done, relatively speaking in my career, over these last several years.”
I agree Jerry. The Papa John’s rapping commercial. The AT&T Stadium sponsorship deal. The National Football Foundation award. The Salvation Army Kettle Drive. You’re really knocking it out of the park these days.
Wait – I’m talking about your off-the-field efforts. What are you talking about?
Will Allen says the atmosphere at Valley Ranch is one of micromanagement. I suppose that’s better than a country club. But Allen’s run counter to a lot of the criticism that has been levied against the Cowboys recently. I think the word that stuck out to me was cohesion, or a lack thereof. To me, that would be a bigger issue than the Cowboys being a country club or even being tight, as Allen put it. If the whole team isn’t on the same page, they’re going nowhere.
There’s a chance Sean Lee could be back for the Thanksgiving game against the Oakland Raiders. Do us all a favor, Jason Garrett. If you and the Cowboys win on Sunday give Lee another two weeks to rest before the Bears game. It makes much more sense in the big picture.
I was at the Mavericks-Rockets game when the Ian Kinsler-Prince Fielder trade went down. Here’s how quickly it happened. One news agency reported they were talking and 30 minutes later they were reporting the deal was done. Turns out it took a day to get this deal together.
How good a deal is this for the Rangers? They get Prince Fielder in the prime of his career (he’s 28). He’s under contract for seven years, which means if he tails off in his mid-30s it doesn’t hurt too much. He’s durable. The Tigers are giving the Rangers $30 million to offset some of his salary. And all the Rangers had to give up was Kinsler, a 31-year old second baseman with a manageable contract but declining power numbers? Does anyone else think that feels like stealing? I mean this cost the Rangers nothing, in terms of their farm system. That never happens anymore.
Where does Fielder fit in the lineup? Well that sweet left-handed swing is going to fit perfect with that short porch in right field of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. My guess is Fielder would move into the cleanup spot and Adrian Beltre would move to No. 3. That should provide both with ample protection in the lineup, even if Nelson Cruz doesn’t come back. And he’s not.
Based on what the Rangers have right now, I see this lineup: Elvis Andrus (SS) leading off, Leonys Martin (OF) hitting second, Beltre (3B) hitting third and Fielder (1B) hitting fourth. After that it gets tricky. It would be some combination of Jurickson Profar (2B), Geovany Soto (C), Craig Gentry (OF), Alex Rios (OF) and, if he’s not dealt, Mitch Moreland (DH).
Perhaps that’s why the Rangers are reportedly pursuing another “big bat.”
You hate to see Kinsler go, though. He’s been a loyal part of this organization for quite some time. The Rangers developed him. Kinsler even committed to staying with them long term with a recent contract extension. This isn’t a great way to pay him back. The only consolation is that Kinsler is going to an organization that can spend money, is committed to winning and has great talent around him. It’s not inconceivable that the Rangers and Tigers could meet in the postseason in 2014.
I’m impressed with how Monta Ellis has so easily fit in with this Mavericks team. I don’t think I quite expected that. I thought it would be bumpier and that Dirk Nowitzki might struggle to get shots. But that hasn’t been the case thus far. Ellis seems to fit that perfect veteran profile for the Mavericks – a successful individual player who has never tasted serious postseason success and desperately wants to taste it before his career ends. The Mavs want back in the postseason after a one-year absence. It’s a perfect marriage right now.
Dirk is starting to look like the Dirk we’re used to watching. That 35 points against Houston was a bit revelatory, not just in the sheer numbers but the way he and Ellis worked together all evening.
The scary thing? The Mavs still aren’t full strength yet. They’re waiting for both Devin Harris and Brandan Wright to return. Plus, rookie guard Shane Larkin has played just three games. Depth is coming.
Best quote of the night? Rick Carlisle called the Mavs-Rockets game a “pillow fight” defensively. The mind quickly asks which of the two would win an actual pillow fight.
Stat you don’t know about this month? The Dallas Stars were 6-2-1 in November before losing to St. Louis on Nov. 23. That included a 3-0 Canada road trip in which the Stars beat Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. This follows a 5-6-1 October. The Stars appear to be rounding into shape under head coach Lindy Ruff.
One last thing. Even though Baylor lost to Oklahoma State, do yourself a favor and search the Internet for the story ESPN Gameday did on Baylor coach Art Briles on Saturday. You’ll learn plenty about an event that shaped Briles’ life and philosophy on football.