Let’s take a closer look at the title of this article – “Dallas Cowboys Urban Legend Errata.” Dallas Cowboys: – an expansion team that became one of the most storied organizations in the NFL. Urban Legend: – stories that are repeated often enough by sections of society that they take on factual identity. Errata: – a list of corrections either appended to a publication or offered as a separate document.
Urban Legends associated with the NFL in general are far and wide. When you toss in the polarization element that is the Dallas Cowboys, they can get downright creative. However legends they are and our Errata, published to stand on it’s own, offers a ray of corrective light in contrast to the back alley reporting (also known as ESPN) that lends succor to these well known Urban Legends.
Dallas Cowboys Urban Legend Errata – Part I
OTA’s Predict Seasonal Success – False. Predicting who will breakout, excel or have a down year is not possible from OTA’s alone. OTA’s are part of the offseason preparation process. For new players to the team, it’s the beginning. To look at a player who is doing well in OTA’s and predict he will be an all-pro that season is an exercise in looking foolish. Yes, you do want your players looking good rather than bad. However when the pads come on, it’s not really important that a guy was blowing it up while playing flag football. Perhaps you’ve heard this one before? “It’s a process.”
There Is Nothing To Learn From OTA’s – False. Stop me if this sounds familiar, “It’s a process.”With OTA’s being a critical cog of the process, there is a ton of information to take away from them. Let’s list the easy ones.
- What the coaching staff is looking to run offensively and defensively.
- What positions the coaches would “like” to see a player at.
- Which players are mentally quick.
- Which players are mentally slow.
- Which players have “jump”.
- QB’s arm strength and accuracy.
- Can WR’s run tight routes and catch.
- Do any defenders have a nose for the ball?
- Is a player out of shape or injured?
- Have any players taken that next step in the weight room?
These are just a few of the insights one can glen from OTA’s. There are actually many more, yet while the information is plentiful, to draw definitive conclusions from OTA results is difficult. This information is best digested slowly and with plenty of wiggle room in the conclusion department. Perfectly alright to be excited, but don’t make any serious bets at this point.
Jerry Jones Picks All The Talent For Dallas -False – By his job description Jerry is “responsible” for all talent acquisition and indeed has firmly inserted himself into any major decision the organization makes in this regard. That being said Jerry did not make the amount of money he has by being a leader that can’t delegate. He is highly proficient at delegation and a master of assuming credit. This is not said in a negative light. Jerry Jones is many things. Salesman, businessman, carnival barker, general manager, ring master and egoist are all titles and passions that drive him. Jerry Jones expects 100% from his players and you aren’t going to get a slice of Jerry. It’s all or nothing and that includes him having the final say with the bigger talent acquisitions. The good news is that after many years he’s getting better. This speaks volumes about Jerry’s ability to self assess. If you’re going to lambaste Jerry for the failures one is then obligated to give credit for the successes. In a “what have you done for me lately” league, the arrow is pointing up for the GM position.
As mentioned, Jerry Jones does delegate. To do so successfully one has to trust their charges. It took awhile, but Jerry seems to have learned to listen to his football people more often than not. The results speak for themselves as the top talent acquisitions have avoided the high failure rate of previous years. Jerry does have input, but football minds are the driving force behind Dallas talent acquisition at this point.
Jason Garrett Picks All The Talent For Dallas – False. Much like the first two legends were different sides of the same coin, so are the current and former ones. For much the same reason the previous legend was false, so is this one. Garrett also is a master of delegation and not only trust his scouting department and coaches, but “the process” as well. From top to bottom Garrett has had an incredible influence on talent acquisition for the Dallas Cowboys. Defining templates for the various positions on the Dallas team that had not existed in clarity since Jimmy Johnson left, Garrett’s “footprint” is firmly stamped on the 2014 roster. Whether that is a positive or a negative for him will be revealed by years end.
You Have To Run The Football To Win – Semi-False. Defining “run the football” as being balanced or having a predominant run-first team makes this obviously false in today’s pass-happy NFL. This in no way detracts from the fact that running the football successfully does increase your percentages at gaining the elusive W. Balanced play calling (50/50) isn’t the only way to succeed while toting the pill. Running well in circumstance, say short yardage or endgame, is a huge tool to have in the trick bag come game day as Cowboys faithful know all to well due to it’s recent MIA status. You don’t have to run to win in today’s NFL. The odds are in your favor however if you can tote the rock with aplomb while also striking through the air.
Firing A Coach Addresses Lack Of Talent – False. Tom Landry and Jimmy Johnson vs Chan Gailey, Dave Campo, Bill Parcells, Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett. With so many ways to spell “.500 ball” it’s no wonder English is such a difficult language to learn. No, Barry Switzer doesn’t count. For anything. Having talent does. Actually, that is the one (only?) thing Barry Switzer is good for. Barry proved Jerry Jones correct when he stated “any coach can win with this team.” To abuse a popular saying “it’s the talent stupid.”
That’s it for Part I. Till Part II arrives, what Dallas Cowboys Urban Legend Errata do you think needs to be added to the list?
What say you Cowboys Nation?
Another Left Coast Cowboys Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over