SAN ANTONIO — I was in California last week for his annual training camp ‘State Of The Cowboys’ address, and every member of the media in attendance was struck by the humility that Mr. Jones showed that day. As my colleague Joe Reinagel said afterwards, you never know what you might get from the Dallas Cowboys.
But this was different. This was human. This was an owner showing us his most vulnerable, showing us the side of him that anybody rarely sees. The man twice, and nearly three times, broke down into tears. The moments were remarkable simply because of who he is.
Jerry is 78-years-old these days, and in fact, he’ll be one year older in mid-October. The last 18 months have undoubtedly taken their toll on the longtime boss of America’s team, like it has all of us, but he genuinely wants what he hasn’t had in the last quarter century, The Lombardi Trophy.
But, per standard, can Jones stay out of the way enough to allow that to happen? That is absolutely a very fair question as the results overwhelmingly speak for themselves since the days of Troy, Emmitt and Michael. He admits to being excessive with his decisions, and his mistakes, bordering on eccentric at times.
Jones will be atop his usual perch for the duration of training camp presiding as only Jerry can. And he’ll be watching an offense that looks as good as any on paper. But paper is paper, and without those key season fourth quarter breaks, and good fortune against injuries, that look on paper might be once again all they have to reference when it’s all said and done.
Those with the expert credentials, myself excluded, say the NFC East is a two team race between Dallas and the Washington Football Team. Jerry Jones has high expectations. He expects the defense to have better working parts. And to say that suggests to me that he doesn’t feel his defensive unit is gonna set records this year, but hey, that’s what this month is all about figuring out. And then he’s also got Dak and Zeke, two players that seem focused and poised after extremely frustrating 2020 campaigns. I’m not suggesting the offense will need to outscore the opposition every week, but the NFL is hard if you know what I’m saying.
The Thursday nighter to open the season, Dallas visiting Tom Brady and the champs, will be hard to overhype. It’s gonna be worth the price of admission, at least to start. The Cowboys? Brady? Dak’s return? The defending champs? The only game of the night? The NFL league office can be dumb, but they’re not that dumb. Nice job, Roger!
So the only remaining question is will we tell Jerry nice job next February? Ancient football history says no, but this is the NFL. It’s all about avoiding injuries and that dreaded (8-8), or (8-9) this season.
Jerry says he’d do anything to get another championship. Unfortunately that’s one lesson he’s never learned, and at this point, never will. But that’s Jerry, and that’s what makes the Dallas Cowboys drama filled, and we love it.
Let’s watch it all play out!