Entering week 10 at 3-5, the Dallas Cowboys are in the midst of a tailspin. Not much has gone right in this season despite some changes on the roster. Dak Prescott is struggling to get the passing attack on track while the defense is giving up big games to other woebegone franchises. For example, the Tennessee Titans looked like world beaters against the Cowboys on Monday night after failing to put together a cohesive performance in four different games. Marcus Mariota had his way with the defense and he ran for a touchdown and threw for two more while posting a completion percentage of 72%.
Losses like these are the main reason why critics have been far more vocal about the state of the franchise in recent weeks. The Cowboys have long been known as “America’s Team”, but this iteration is leaving much to be desired. Even three-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Troy Aikman has joined the fray, stating that “There has to be a complete overhaul of the organization. In a lot of ways, there’s a lot of dysfunction.”
Aikman’s criticism isn’t a new one, of course; Jones’ unique responsibilities as the owner, president, and general manager has existed since the day he bought the franchise in 1989. Those criticisms continued even when Aikman and Jones were on the same team, winning three Super Bowls in four years in the early 1990s. Of course, it’s been a long time since Jones’ Cowboys were a true Super Bowl contender … so the criticism comes with more volume and with more frequency … and with more gravitas now that’s it’s Troy Aikman offering it up.
“There’s been times where I’ve heard Jerry say, ‘OK, look, we’re going to do it differently,” Aikman said. “I’m going to do it differently.’ But it’s the same. Nothing changes. And that to me is the bigger issue, beyond, ‘Yes, coaching’s important, personnel, all those things are important, but how are you going about evaluating? How are you going about running the organization?”
While Aikman is one of the many analysts around the league offering criticism about Jones and his ownership style, he isn’t the only former player to weigh in on the topic. Former Cowboys and current Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin has also weighed in on the topic, but he is one that believes you can’t change Jones’ ways. Irvin was on the Dan Sileo Show on 973 The Fan on Friday to discuss this exact topic. And while he didn’t necessarily rebuke Aikman for what he said, Irvin did provide an alternate viewpoint about how luxury affects decision makers.
“Let’s be real here, let’s just be real. I’m not saying that what Troy says, there’s not some things that need to be changed and some things that need to be done. But I’m being realistic. My job is to be realistic with you, and I’m telling you right now. For a man that made a $150 million investment and turned it into $5 billion, you can’t tell him he’s been screwing everything up. It just doesn’t make sense.”
Irvin’s point is, in fact, the root of the issue. Jones is one of the most successful owners in NFL history due to him taking an “also ran” franchise and turning it into a three-time champion. The Cowboys are extremely successful and have one of the most dedicated franchises in the country, if not the world. With so much success, why would Jones listen to anyone that tells him to cede control to someone else? Aikman may be correct about Dallas needing an overhaul, but it’s not likely to happen in the near future.
With the NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles on the docket, the Cowboys will need to avoid another embarrassing loss. In fact, anything less than a blowout victory on Sunday Night Football will still result in increased criticism from the outside world, with much of it focused on Jerry Jones.