By Steve Silverman
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Jerry Jones loves to become the center of the story.
As training camp gets underway, he loves to see his name in the headlines and he wants his Dallas Cowboys to be in the middle of the discussion.
At one point, Jones was able to get the discussion focused on the Cowboys because they were the best team in the league. However, it’s been a long time since Jimmy Johnson was head coach of the Cowboys and they registered back-to-back wins over the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowls XXVII and XXVIII.
The Cowboys would win one more Super Bowl with Barry Switzer at the help in SB XXX, but that was largely with the players that Johnson brought to the team. (If you are looking for Switzer to get credit for a Super Bowl win, you won’t find that here. He was a country bumpkin.)
Now Jones has managed to put himself in the headlines because he urged Cowboys’ fans to come to Texas Stadium and watch his Cowboys kick the Giants’ a****.
Well, Jones may have had more in mind than selling a few more tickets to a game that would likely sell out in Week Eight (Oct. 28) no matter what.
What you may not remember is that as the 2011 season ended with the Giants about to start a playoff run and the Cowboys on the outside, Jones made a very honest assessment of why New York was going to the playoffs while his team was staying home.
The difference, Jones said, was the play of the two teams’ quarterbacks. He gave the Giants an edge because they had Eli Manning while the Cowboys went to battle with Tony Romo under center.
Few would disagree with him, especially because Manning is at his best in the postseason and he has two Super Bowl victories to his credit. Both of those wins came over a team in the New England Patriots that is often considered the best prepared team in pro football. While Manning did not line up opposite Tom Brady, he managed to hold up nicely against a player who will go into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot when his career comes to an end.
Romo is a solid looking quarterback who throws one of the most catchable balls in the NFL. When Romo has time in the pocket, the ball often hits the receiver’s hands as if it were a pillow coming in for a soft landing.
However, when late-season games are on the line, Romo feels the pressure, loses his accuracy and his team doesn’t win.
So, Jones was honest about what happened to his team when it came time to making the playoffs and winning the games that mattered most.
While you could tip your hat to Jones at the time for speaking the truth – an owner gives his honest assessment in the NFL; now there’s a story – he is now paying the price for it.
Romo is still the quarterback of the Cowboys and he is not stupid. He knows what Jones said and there’s no way to spin it away.
Romo knows that Manning has outperformed him by a wide margin in important games and he knows that his owner has come down on Manning’s side. Jones can’t take his statement back.
It’s one thing to say it in the privacy of the owner’s booth, it’s another thing when that statement gets tweeted out to the masses.
Jones may sound like he is coming out in support of Romo when he says his team will take care of the Giants this year, but he is just trying put the toothpaste back in the tube.
That’s not going to happen.
The Cowboys have plenty of problems this season besides Romo’s lack of success in key games. They have a below average crew of running backs, the offensive line is ordinary and the receivers are just decent. That’s not going to be good enough to beat the Giants or Philadelphia.
The Cowboys have a solid defense, but they are too one-dimensional this year.
Jones has shown he can be honest. Perhaps he realizes his team is going nowhere and he’s just hoping to light a fire.
Unfortunately for him, the Giants will keep his words in mind when the two teams meet in the opening game of the NFL season Sept. 5.
Who will perform better in the 2012 chapter of Cowboys-Giants, Tony Romo or Eli Manning? Let us know in the comments below…