There are very few words which will make a fan cringe, most of them are easy to shake off and forget but there is one word every fan dreads hearing and it is the infamous word rebuild. Any time a franchise takes the “rebuilding” stance, everyone knows it will take years for the team to get back to winning ways. In some cases, a franchise is in a constant state of rebuilding (See Jacksonville Jaguars).
The Cowboys were last a rebuilding project in the late 80’s and turned into the team of the 90’s. Ever since then, Jerry Jones has fought to keep the Cowboys at “status quo” and continue to recapture the winning ways of Jimmy Johnson. At times it has almost worked, but then they would have stretches of mediocrity. They are now stuck in a period of mediocrity and don’t look to be anywhere near capable of changing that.
Luckily for them, the NFC East is the poster child for parody and they had a chance to win the division and make the playoffs as a 9-7 team. Instead they are sitting at home with consecutive 8-8 seasons, and the team doesn’t look to be improving, just staying “as is”. This is why I feel going forward, now would be a good time to look at rebuilding and minimize the damage of the actual rebuilding. There are some quality pieces already in place for the future, but it is time to cut loose of some other pieces and start fresh. Here is a brief breakdown.
The first big change I think they Cowboys need to make is bringing in a new quarterback, Tony Romo has proven over and over again, he is not capable of winning games that matter. I would like to see the Cowboys draft a quality quarterback and start grooming him for the future, the only real question is can they find that future QB in the draft?
The quarterback is one of the most important positions on a football team and the Cowboys have done very little to keep that status since Troy Aikman left. I am not going to sit here and bash Tony, he has been a very good QB, but at some point you have to say, he isn’t the right man for the job and cut ties. There may be a team out there willing to give some draft picks for him, if so…take it. Otherwise, the Cowboys will not be able move forward.
The Offensive line is by far the place that has the most needs. The Cowboys did good bringing in Tyron Smith in the draft last year, but everything else around the line is horrible. It is time to start wheeling and dealing to try and fix this issue. Because if you can put up a solid O-line, then a quarterback will never be successful here, The Cowboys need to draft some help, but look for additional bodies on the trade market or even free agency.
The Cowboys need to bring in a solid back up running back for Demarco Murray, because he has shown throughout his career in college and now the NFL a lack of ability to stay healthy. Demarco is a solid running back, but don’t rely on him to be there every play. Find some running back willing to be a back up and solid spot starter when Murray is injured. And for all things holy, can we please get Felix Jones out of here, this has been a mistake since he was drafted and the only reason he is even still here is because he is a former Razorback.
This is one position the Cowboys don’t really need to rebuild at, but they do need to cut ties with Miles Austin and try to find another solid option to line up beside Dez. You can count every good game Austin has had on one hand and it only took one game to fleece Jerry into over paying for a guy who was a number two receiver at best. There are enough interchangeable parts for your lower receivers, but having one more big time receiver to put opposite Bryant will help that position greatly.
Once Again this isn’t a position really needed to tear down and start over, but if you start looking at some of the ages on the line, it is apparent the Cowboys need some youth on the line. The clock is ticking for a lot of these guys and you can’t count on them for more than a couple seasons to be good. It’s time to spend a draft pick here and there starting now and maybe as each guy falls off, there will be someone in his place.
This is another position everybody points to as having issues, bad draft picks, lousy signings…etc have plagued the secondary into a laughable unit at best. There is some youth and hope for the future, but you can’t sit back and hope for the best, this is where the team needs to keep picking up players and hopefully some of these players will pan out. At this time, there isn’t a shut down corner or feared safety on the roster, and you cannot stop hunting until you have both of those.
Now comes the one piece of the puzzle that needs to change more than anything else.
Let’s face it, Jerry Jones is a great businessman, he can turn just about anything into profits. He has done wonders during his time in the NFL to help its profitability and make it a more viable league. But when it comes to making personnel decisions, he is about the dumbest person to walk the earth. Jerry lives with the thought he was the one behind the Cowboys 3 Super Bowl wins, which he was, he paid the players and coach who put together the team.
It became very apparent after Jimmy left, he was the one who drafted, and brought the players in. Jerry even said himself this year; He would have fired himself as General Manager. Well, I think it is time Jerry takes his own advice and fires his GM. Otherwise I would beg Stephen Jones to tie up Jerry, but a gag in his mouth, lock his office door and take over as General Manager. Unless this change is made, then every other change will be useless because as long as Jerry is making personnel decisions, this team will but anything but successful for the foreseeable future.
Bottom line is changes need to be made if this team hopes to have any chance at long term success and it starts with making those changes now instead of trying to patch together another season with the hope it will work.