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Coryell Factor: Coryell’s direct development of future coaches included Super Bowl head coaches Madden and Gibbs, Super Bowl offensive coordinators Ernie Zampese and Al Saunders, as well as Jim Hanifan and Rod Dowhower. Adding to the Coryell coaching tree, Super Bowl offensive coordinator Norv Turner tutored under Zampese, and another Super Bowl offensive coordinator Mike Martz studied under both Zampese and later Turner. Dan Henning coached under Gibbs. Don Coryell, Hall of Fame 2011
Today’s article is from The Best of Living With Sportz, originally written September 24, 201o
I am going to talk today about one of the many items that stands out to me when looking at all of the surprises in the NFL. The question I ask is this: Why does one of the smartest people in the world not see what 99% of the public finds obvious? Let’s look at why one of the smartest men in America looks really stupid as we head into week three of the NFL.
I am talking about the one and only, Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys. He also is the man behind the greatest sports arena ever built for any sports team or city. As the economy of this country began on its rapid down slide, Jones has flourished as an entrepreneur and owner. I believe that Jerry Jones may be the best salesperson in the entire world. He obviously is charismatic and an owner that likes to be involved in the day-to-day operation of his beloved Dallas Cowboys.
I don’t know what kind of an owner I would be, but I have always liked the owners that want their teams to win, yet stay out of the way. I have never seen an owner who knows the game, as well as the people who do not have the emotional ties that come with ownership. Guys like the Maloofs, Mark Cuban, Arte Moreno and Dan Snyder seem to have the passion to win but lack the strength of character to admit they do not know it all. If we look at the successful owners in sports, Robert Kraft, Jerry Buss, the Rooney family, and even the Steinbrenners, they leave the business of sports to the people that work for them.
I don’t have a category for Al Davis, other than totally out of touch and living in the 60’s. I wish the Oakland Raiders had the teams of the 60’s and 70’s but , hey Al, it is 2010. Davis is another iconoclastic owner who stood up to whoever stood in his way (even if it was his own fans) and won anyway. Davis took the helm of the Oakland Raiders in 1972 and they became the primary rebels of the National Football League. Under Davis, the Raiders brought the Super Bowl championship back to Oakland following the 1976 and 1980 seasons. Davis then decided that he could make more money by moving the Raiders to L.A., which was/is the second biggest market in the country. The league tried to stop him, but Davis took them to court and won; he moved the Raiders to the City of Angels in 1982 and quickly won a third Super Bowl in 1983. Unable to get a new stadium in L.A., Davis took the Raiders back to Oakland prior to the 1995 season; they have yet to win a title since their return. He seems lost and out of control and I have to admit that I miss the old Al Davis, or I should say, the young Al Davis.
Talking about all of these owners leads me to Jerry Jones. He is on the sidelines during games and never misses an opportunity to be on television. Heck, he was on a couple of episodes of Entourage this year. Somehow I don’t see Dan Rooney doing that. I have to admit that I laughed out loud when I saw him walking up and down the bench last Sunday clapping and trying to motivate the troops. This gets to me to the point of one of the smartest men in America.
I have said for some time, that Wade Phillips is not capable of being a head coach in the NFL. Doesn’t Jerry Jones see this? Does Wade walk into his office and the stupid gene releases into Jerry Jones entire body? I know how hard it is to replace a coach during the season and it is pretty obvious that there is nobody on the current coaching staff that can take over. They already tried the Dave Campo experiment — OMG. This is the Dallas Cowboys — they have won one playoff game since their Super Bowl championship last year against a very mediocre Eagles team. Has anyone’s stock in the NFL dropped faster than offensive coordinator, Jason Garrett? This staff is outmatched and it has been proven, at least to me, that this team does not have the talent to overcome their lack of coaching talent.
How does Jones fit into this picture? Let me give you my opinion. I believe that Jones does not like to have high quality football people around him or his team. He wants to be the all powerful owner and with people who know what they are doing, he feels inferior. How did he handle the times with Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells? He hated it. He was dealing with very secure, confident men that he couldn’t intimidate. They also won games and championships with Johnson and improved drastically under Parcells. Jerry didn’t get the credit for this and it bothered him. These two men ignored Jones and went about the business of coaching football. They knew what they were doing and won football games.
With Wade Phillips, Jones can be somewhat of the coach. I would love to be a fly on the wall in the office when Phillips and Jones meet to talk about the upcoming game. I have this vision of that toy Chihuahua in the back window of a car just nodding at whatever Czar Jones has to say. With a true football coach in those meetings, they would tell Jones to mind his business and go away. Jones couldn’t take that, hence the Cowboy fans are stuck with Wade Phillips. Look at some of the coaches that Jones has had. The consummate yes men: Phillips, Dave Campo and even Chan Gailey. Gailey must interview really well because he talked the Buffalo Bills into making another ridiculous hire. I never thought I would hear the words: “We miss you Dick Jauron,” until the Bills are stuck with Gailey.
I know that the reason the Jerry Jones-Jimmy Johnson relationship didn’t last is because Jerry wasn’t getting the credit that he felt he deserved. Jimmy won championships for the Cowboys and most importantly, for the Cowboy fans. Jerry, stay off the sidelines and hire someone that can coach and win football games. Look at the successful owners and get out of the football business and get back into your business. The Cowboy fans will thank you and they deserve the best team and coaches that your money can provide. Give it to them and send Wade Phillips on his way to the next defensive coordinator’s job he can find. You are the same guy who fired the legend, Tom Landry, and now you can’t fire Wade Phillips. Cowher, Gruden or even the return of Jimmy Johnson could bail you out this year. Is it going to take an 0-3 start for you to realize what all of us already see? That great stadium can get very quiet with a failing Cowboy team and you didn’t get an automatic invite to the Super Bowl because it is in Dallas this year.
I, for one, believe it would serve this egomaniacal owner of the Dallas Cowboys right, if the Houston Texans played in the house that Jerry built in the Super Bowl this year. Could you see his face as the other team in Texas takes the field in Dallas on that February Sunday? Maybe he would sit with Bob McNair, the owner of the Houston Texans and see that owners don’t become General Managers, coaches or cheerleaders. They sit in their box at the games and know that they have done everything they could to provide the fans of their team a winning franchise. So I ask all of you today — How can one of the smartest men in America be so stupid?
EDITOR’S NOTE: Ray called it – Phillips was officially fired from the Cowboys yesterday. He announced the story on Facebook, as according to his reliable NFL source. It was only 30 minutes later that ESPN and the NFL Network announced the story.