“The Evaluation Process Will Begin With Finding the Guys Who Play the Hardest”

The longest pre-season in recent Cowboys history got an official start this afternoon.

Jerry Jones played the only tool in his box.  In a measured, carefully-worded 23-minute press conference this afternoon, Jerry Jones confirmed the change of  the coaching guard and admitted the need to create a ”winning culture” at Valley Ranch.  Jones did not commit to the interim duo of Jason Garrett and Paul Pasqualoni beyond the ’10, but felt they gave the Cowboys the best chance to remake the organization from within.

Of Garrett, Jones admitted, “Jason has certainly been a part of the long-term thinking for the Dallas Cowboys and for me, but what we’re addressing on an imterim basis is to maximize how we’re playing right now…”

Jones claimed Pasqualoni was elevated from a veteran defensive staff because he, like Garrett, “has the disposition to bring about a culture change…”

When asked to describe what a coaching change entailed, Jones stressed effort and dedication, and consistency among his roster and staff.

He further admitted being in denial about the team’s performance and said the defense’s breakdowns, despite having a coordinator of Phillips’ reputation, compounded the problems the offense faced without Tony Romo, and pushed him to change his mind and change the organization’s direction.

Jones’ delivery trembled when he spoke of the accountability and how the breakdowns cost Phillips his job.  Jones on more than one occasion expressed his care and regard for Phillips.

Jones sidestepped the question of Garrett’s agency and his authority to hire and fire, saying he “could not quantify it.”

Jones repeatedly used the term, ”winning football” to describe the missing element on his team, primarily on the defensive side.  The organization will look for winning effort, game-by-game, above winning and losing.  That desire seems well placed.  Jones’ emphasis on defensive leadership understands the offense, with a crumbling line and a backup quarterback at starter, will need a lower bar than one led by Tony Romo.  In this context, winning effort may be the only expectation we can realistically have.

Rafael Vela

Rafael Vela

Senior Analyst Cowboys Nation.com at Sports Talk Line
Started covering Dallas Cowboys @ TheBoys.com in '95 and '96. Two more stops along the way and here I am. Senior Analyst for SportsTalkLine.com
Rafael Vela

Enjoyed this post? Share it!

  • boyfromoz

    I worry that without a stand-in OC, the Genius is going to struggle to both right the ship on O as well as turn the whole team culture around.

    I would hate to lose him because he has just been set up to fail and then find we lost another Payton who succeeds with a different team.

    I don’t need to see games being won – I just want to see the players compete, with discipline and courage. If he there are clear signs the culture is turning then he should get a genuine shot at the HC job next season.

  • ReverendMichael

    I’m curious guys. Who did you see that was still giving all out effort. The game was too nauseating for me to watch again and look for it so I’ll just have to go off the top of my head. Dez is obvious to me. Kitna didn’t play well but he seemed to be trying. Ratliff didn’t do much but he didn’t strike me as loafing. Ball stinks but he seemed to be giving effort (not that I think he should continue to start, mind you) McBriar punted well. [pretty said that I’m already down to kickers] Did anyone else stand out to you as refusing to give up?

    • McCann seemed to try, but it was also his first game. I guess we’ll know more about him in a few weeks if the ship is still submerged.

      • ReverendMichael

        Can’t believe I forgot about McCann. Yeah! I really liked what I saw in him!

  • edubz

    Good thing the evaluation process is on effort and not talent. If it were on talent, how could you choose on this roster, so much talent everywhere.

  • fiverings37

    a move that had to be made. Tex called it after the 0-2 start, it’s just a shame that it took this long. In retrospect, it should have been done after the 44-6 debacle in an all in game vs. Philly.

  • the past 24 hours have been an utter embarrassment for the Dallas Cowboys franchise. I definitely think it’s the nadir for organization’s history. 50th Anniversary season will be remembered as something we wished to forget. I’m sick to my stomach!

    • No sir. It’s bad, without a doubt, but NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING was more embarrassing than the night Danny White, Tony Dorsett and a few other starters lost to a Redskins scab team on Monday Night Football in ’87. The Cowboys lost all respect within the players community for crossing picket lines and trying to get to the playoffs using regulars and they still lost.

      And when Buddy Ryan’s starters came back and ran up the score on the Cowboys the next week, after the strike was over, the Cowboys players and teams had no friends except us die hards.

      Tom Landry was 7-19 the rest of his career after that loss.

      • Not trying to demean your ill feeling. It’s awful, but for me, that was the one night I actually rooted for Dallas to lose. It felt like they were trying to cheat and they still lost.

        • I remember the loss in Philly more than the Redskins loss. I was too young to understand the magnitude of losing to the Skins scabs, but I definitely was able to comprehend the fake kneel down/ pass interference in Philly.

          I think if you look at the synopsis of the Phillips era you see some of the most stomach churning losses in team history. The 07 divisional round loss, the last month of the 08 season, including the TX Stadium closer and the Philly debacle. The Cowboys stadium opener and the Vikings loss I. 09. Now we have this entire season where it is just incomprehensible what is going on. I really am disgusted. I’m a fan for life but I don’t know if I’ve ever feltthis embarrassed to be one.

        • JimmyJohnsonSB

          And it was compounded by the fact that our scabs were pretty good. I imagine we didn’t get 100% effort from Tony D – despite being a union leader, Tex Schramm basically forced him to cross the picket line under threat of losing his annuity from the team.

      • Hatetheiggles

        I guess a close second would be losing to the Texans in their inaugural game back in the Campo era.

        • That has to be up there. But I would rank the loss to the Redskins on the nte of the Triplets ROH induction higher. Also, the Texas Stadium last game loss was as gut wrenching as the Texans loss.

  • Tex

    Just hearing the Genius talk like a CEO trained in the principles of success is refreshing and inspiring. How did this not happen earlier? Tex finally has his guy; unfortunately, it will probably mean a few wins and the loss of Luck.

    • Manuel

      Gotta give it to you Tex….you asked for McCoy…..didnt you?

      • Tex

        Tex 4 Colt, who has now beaten Drew Brees and Tom Brady in consecutive weeks. That said, Luck is a level above the real McCoy.

    • With his offensive line, don’t be so sure. When asked how he could turn the running game around, all he could say was, more emphasis and effort.

      He’s at the mercy of those old bones on the right side of the line. I don’t think they’re up to it. From a future standpoint, however, that’s good.

      • ReverendMichael

        Raf, I don’t think anyone should return as a starter except Free. I have no idea how you replace 4/5 of a line in one off season but this line is only going to get worse. Davis is done. I don’t think we can trust Kosier and Colombo to last another full season. Gurode is hanging on by a thread…a weak one. Am I off base?

  • Jarhead

    Perhaps JG will be the opposite of WP, a better HC than coordinator. Color me skeptical though.

    I dont think he was anything more than a good coordinator who sometimes had better than good days, but had really bad ones too. I doubt the remainder of this season will be a fair evaluation of his HC ability, but my guess is he has already lost some or alot of the current players.

  • AustonianAggie

    I once thought Jason Garrett would be a great Dallas Cowboys head coach, I hope he proves my past-self correct, though the AustonianAggie of 11-8-2010 does not feel this way

  • desus32

    Whether or not Garrett is the long term answer is unknown but I at least give Jerry credit for finally acknowledging the writing on the wall when it came to his team tuning out Wade. The measure of how strong a team is (starting with the coaches and filtering down to the players) is the response given when things are going poorly. Regardless of what anyone thought of Parcells’ tenure, his teams never quit, rather the mistakes (ones that still exist based off Raf’s weekly analysis) just cost those groups the games they truly needed.

    I’m happy to see Garrett get his shot but am concerned that the patchwork talent that exists won’t really allow for a fair evaluation of him, the other coaches, or even the remaining players. Moreso than any other sport, football is one where the team’s interacting parts need to work together in order for real success to occur. A breakdown of any one position will lead to further breakdowns as others try to compensate. The domino effect is real and failure results.

    Ultimately, I think I’d rather have the high draft pick that comes from this team’s downward spiral but would like for Garrett to get his shot with a full camp, his own coaches, and the picks that come from this abysmal year all at his disposal in order to build a winner. Many will call for Cowher or Gruden, but I still wonder if the guy that can fix this mess is in house. Sadly, I don’t know if the remaining games this season will actually give us an answer to this question.

  • ReverendMichael

    I watched the press conference in its entirety and the only thing I can say for certain was that Jerry truly believes what he was saying. Thats all. I still know nothing else.