Forget the ESPN – Jon Gruden Hype – The Jason Garrett Plan is Underway!
It’s against Jerry Jone’s marketing nature to turn down a deal like ESPN Sportscenter’s live Training Camp coverage. You can’t fault ESPN for choosing to cover the most popular team in the NFL, either. It’s definitely a win-win scenario for both organizations, which affords smiles for everyone, including the fans.
But it must be admitted that the coverage was just a mite overboard. Listening to Jon Gruden, I’m shocked that Super Bowl 50, as significant as itmight be, hasn’t been canceled, with the Lombardi Trophy being handed to the Dallas Cowboys by default to parade as their own throughout the season. Gruden’s rhetoric and hyperbole seemed to indicate that Hall Of Famers and Pro Bowlers are stacked at least three deep on the Cowboys Training Camp roster and that all players cut will be immediately snatched up by other NFL teams to start their own Pro Bowl and Hall Of Fame marches.
Of course, Jerry Jones has been trying to convince the world of this fact since his last Super Bowl victory. Let’s see, now. Paaardon me for just a moment. Yes, Yes! Yes, that would be two decades ago!
No, Jerry Jones does not have an impaired memory. It’s just that his optimism is in constant conflict with reality. And Jerry has this unsettling tendency of throwing money towards whatever causes his optimism to increase regardless of reality.
So, it’s completely understandable to have Jon Gruden enter hyper hype mode while covering the Cowboys and Jerry Jones. It’s also understandable to have Jerry perpetually smiling because the cameras, microphones and huge, increasing black bottom lines are eternally present.
But as giddy as Cowboys Fans are at the constant ease of accessing their favorite team and players, excitement should be tempered with a few reminders. And these reminders, when contemplated, should cause their own brand of excitement.
Ignoring the hype, Jason Garrett has this organization entering a phase not seen since the departure of Jimmy Johnson. The talent level, through diligent implementation of the Head Coach’s plan, is deeper than it has been since the Cowboys last Super Bowl win and continues to show signs of growing deeper. So, while Jon Gruden’s hype might’ve over-sold the product on the field, it’s left up to other pundits, fans and prognosticators to determine the degree to which the Cowboys were overvalued by ESPN’s crew. The product has definitely risen in value the last couple of years and shows signs of increasing in the near future.
Also ignoring the hype, Jason Garrett has brought another commodity to bear in the implementation of his Plan, a steadfast mindset that remains ineffect regardless of any turbulence encountered by the Cowboys organization. This aspect has not been seen since the stoic and unsettled demeanor of Tom Landry coupled with the commitment of Cowboys Management and Ownership to the Head Coach and his plan.
Again, ignoring the hype, the Cowboys have been exercising fiscally responsible cap management, taking into account the current market, personal player talent level and skills, positional value as well as the current cap situation of the Cowboys. This reality has never been experienced in the Cowboys organization since the advent of the Salary Cap and provides a stability all its own in spite of the optimistic spending tendencies of Owner Jones.
The ultimate conclusion is also one never seen before under the tenure of Jerry Jones. Ownership, Management and Head Coach / Staff are all implementing their respective duties under a plan where all levels complement one another, legitimately doing their part in accomplishing a common goal. Of course, that goal is a Championship. Then another Championship. And so on.
And in spite of the word of Jon Gruden or the optimism of Jerry Jones, Championships are not hype. They are reality.
So, on with the Plan.