When It Comes To Super Bowl Predictions, Jerry Jones Has Everyone Beat
Jerry Jones has shown several signs over the course of the off-season that four consecutive seasons without a playoff berth are taking its toll. He talks less than normal, he parties more than he probably should, but nary a mention has slipped from his mouth of the Cowboys’ ultimate goal.
Sure, being the cheerleader that he is, he can’t help but talk about how much better he believes the team is at this juncture than a year ago, and even manages to insert what are generally viewed as tongue-in-cheek comments relating to a run to the playoffs. But, still, no word on whether or not he thinks these Cowboys of his are Super Bowl worthy in 2014.
Such bold references about a push to the Super Bowl are a Jones trademark. During the writing of the book Decade of Futility, I was shocked to learn just how much so. Since the “One Year Away” Cowboys shocked the world in 1992 by destroying Buffalo in Super Bowl XXVII by a 52-17 score, Jones has neglected to thrill listeners with Super aspirations a grand total of four times. That’s four out of a possible twenty-one opportunities. Truly incredible.
Even more incredible are the circumstances surrounding those times when he deemed it better to be humble, rather than bold. The first occurrence was in the wake of Troy Aikman’s retirement in 2001, when all the Cowboys were leaning upon was the unproven right arm of Georgia rookie Quincy Carter. Yes, Jones was magnanimous that day in his respect for the dark hour that his Cowboys found themselves in, foregoing any Super Bowl predictions, prophesying instead for a ho-hum mediocre campaign filled with only – yes, only – ten wins.
The only other times that Jones was silent on any personal visions of impending glory just happened to be during the first three years of Big Bill Parcells’ four-year reign of pigskin terror, when Jones was effectively kept under wraps.
Jones talks so boldly because he wants the fans to know that he cares, and that he – in his position as the team’s General Manager – has pieced together a roster that everyone will be proud of. He envisions himself as the sharpshooter in a darkened gym that calls his own shot on one three-pointer after another.
More importantly, is the fact that Jones believes these predictions are within the bounds of reason, even when others around him are pleading with him for patience, and temperance.
The passing years have revealed that Jones is oblivious to any personal prohibitions related to drinking that most seductive of drinks, Cowboy Kool-Aid. The Cowboys have reaped the rewards this millennium of changing head coaches a mind-boggling four times. Five losing seasons, countless melodramas, one measly playoff victory, and a decade (2000-2009) that houses the lowest winning percentage in franchise history.
And there, impervious to reality, criticism, and countless glaring statistics, stands the Cowboys owner, handing out a beverage that has enslaved the innocent and gullible for more than a decade. Yes, drinks are always on the house at Valley Ranch, no matter the hour, the venue, or circumstance.