Archive: Jerry Jones’ Devious Nature Surfaces Again
(That Jerry Jones had lost patience with Dave Campo as a head coach was obvious to all, as the Cowboys headed down the stretch of the 2002 season destined for a third consecutive 5-11 season. That Jones’ courting of Bill Parcells was also well known was accentuated by Jones’ stubborn belief that it was not. Here is another classic example of Jones’ poor attempts at subterfuge in the face of a coaching change.)
From the Sunday, December 29 2002 edition of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
by Randy Galloway
If you were reading the sports page Friday, then you saw it. Saw an instant winner in the category of “Biggest Lie of the Week.”
By the way, our liar’s contest is restricted to the jock kingdom. I cannot be held responsible for monitoring the comments of political windbags or corporate CEOs.
But a “source” passed along this heartwarming information for Friday morning publication: “Out of respect for Dave Campo, there had been no contact all week between Jerry Jones and Bill Parcells.”
Upon reading such a thing, I immediately checked outside for lightning strikes, and wasn’t surprised to discover that large trees had instantly been reduced to still-burning stumps.
By Friday night, ESPN-TV reported Jones and Parcells had held their second-round of discussions, comparing notes and egos during a get-together in Long Island, NY. Probably talked a little money, too.
In addition, Jones was also reportedly covering another base Friday, yakking at length with former NFL head coach Denny Green. Surely, Jerry isn’t serious about that guy being a strong candidate should Parcells remove himself as Jones’ No. 1 candidate, but…
Out of respect for Dave Campo, and in observance of a normal code of coaching conduct, I promise not to mention any of this until just after 3 o’clock this afternoon. At that point, Campo will have officially coached his last game for the Cowboys. Jones will allow Dave to fly home, for free, from Washington on the team charter, then fire him Monday.
And concerning that “source” who was trying to convince us Friday morning of being worried about disrespecting Campo, all I can divulge is he’s from the Parcells camp.
Jerry, meanwhile, drives hard after Parcells, and doesn’t care if Campo, after 14 years of loyal service to the Jones family, has become a skid mark on the NFL highway. On the positive side, at least Jerry has learned much since 1989, when Tom Landry discovered he was about to be fired by looking at a photograph on the front page of his morning newspaper.
Jerry’s two meetings with Parcells in the 10 days were both within sight of the Manhattan skyline, and not at the best table in the house at Mia’s world-famous Tex-Mex eatery in Dallas. What Landry saw in that photo was Mr. Jones and a Mr. Johnson munching on tacos.
Ok, about Denny Green. I’m not a big fan.
But Green serves an immediate purpose for Jones, and it’s also possible he goes on Jerry’s backup list, just in case.
Rules are rules.
And a new NFL rule – or actually an upgrade of an old one – states that in the case of any head coaching vacancy, a minority candidate must be interviewed.
The owners agreed to this a couple of weeks ago.
As it turns out, Mr. Jones becomes the first test case of the new rule.
The wrath of Johnnie Cochran – yes, he’s baaaack – will come down on Jones’ head if he fails to comply. Cochran was the lawyer who pressured the NFL to take a stronger stand in persuading teams to hire minority head coaches.
Next question. How did Cochran find time for this legal case? Isn’t he supposed to be working 24/7 to help O.J. apprehend the real killers?
There’s not a man, woman, or child in the U.S.A with any knowledge of pro football who doesn’t know by now that Jones is hot after Parcells.
Until Parcells says yes or no, Jones has zero interest in any other potential head coach, minority or otherwise. And if Parcells turns him down, Jones’ next candidate would probably be Norv Turner, for a lot of obvious reasons.
But by “interviewing” Green, Jones can now tell the NFL equality watchdogs, “see there.” And since Green had a long tenure with the Vikings, plus one appearance in the NFC title game, he is more than a token head coaching figure, so Jerry cannot be accused of worthless pandering of a minority candidate.
Two meetings with Bill Parcells, and another one on the way. A long phone call with Denny Green.
And all Jerry says about this activity is he still hasn’t decided if he will fire Campo. But come Monday, Jones can really get busy looking for Campo’s replacement. Or maybe this afternoon he can fly Parcells to Washington and allow Bill to call a few plays from the press box, just for practice.
Obviously, this entire process has resulted in disgraceful treatment of Campo. But, in times like these, we learn much about people. Whatever shortcomings any of us thought Campo had as a head coach, he has displayed in the past 10 days a human trait much greater than deciding whether to go for it or kick a field goal.
Class and dignity last forever. Coaching football is just a temporary job.
Meanwhile, Jerry is on his plane, flying off to sweet-talk Parcells. Jerry is also on his phone, talking to Green
But out of respect for Dave Campo, let’s not mention any of this until Monday.