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Jerry Jones' Poor Decisions as GM, Not Jason Garrett's Play-Calling Has Doomed the 'Boys

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Jerry Jones' Poor Decisions as GM, Not Jason Garrett's Play-Calling Has Doomed the 'Boys
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Coach Jason Garrett

COMMENTARY | The offseason of change continues in Valley Ranch as per head coach Jason Garrett, offensive coordinator Bill Callahan has officially been designated the play-caller for the Dallas Cowboys. The move to Callahan is simply another attempt by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to distract the fans from the glaring personnel issues that currently plague the franchise.

Jones is in the business of selling tickets to football games. The fans wanted to see changes after the team failed to make the playoffs for the third consecutive season.

The owner/president/general manager of the team gave the fans lots of change. He fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan despite the fact that he was making due with guys off the street at the end of the season.

Jones hired Monte Kiffin to switch the defense from the 3-4 scheme that they had run since Bill Parcells took over as head coach in 2003, to the 4-3 Tampa-2 defense that Kiffin and Tony Dungy won Super Bowls with.

Embattled quarterback Tony Romo received a six year, $108 million contract extension. The contract was vintage Jones. No one else was going to offer Romo that kind of money, so Jones bid against himself and put the Cowboys on the hook for $55 million over six years.

Romo received more guaranteed money than 2013 Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco. That is par for the course for Jones, who overpaid for Marion Barber and Orlando Scandrick when their contracts neared completion.

Jones' biggest drawback is his complete inability to understand how to run a draft. That character flaw was on full display for the world during the 2013 NFL draft.

The Cowboys entered the draft needing major help on their offensive line. Dallas ranked 31st out of 32 teams in 2012 with only 79.1 yards rushing per game.

You win football games in the NFL by running the football and stopping the run. The Cowboys simply could not run the football. That issue needed to be addressed in the 2013 draft with an influx of talent on the offensive line.

Jones passed on a chance to draft an elite talent in Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, and traded down from the No, 18 overall pick to No. 31 overall. Elite defensive tackles are extremely hard to find at all levels of football.

If one falls into your lap in the No. 18 spot in the draft, you say a prayer of thanks to the deity of your choice, and you pick him. Jones traded down and received poor compensation for the No. 18 pick.

The Cowboys received a third round pick, No, 74 overall, from the San Francisco 49ers for the right to move up 13 spots in the first round. Later in that same draft, the New England Patriots traded their first round pick to Minnesota for four picks.

Jones used the first round selection to pick Wisconsin center Travis Frederick. Some enterprising bloggers were later able to make a facsimile of the Cowboys draft board which had Fredrick graded as a second round pick.

The Cowboys passed on a hard to find talent, were under-compensated for their pick, and then reached for a position of need when making their selection. That encapsulates the NFL draft experience for Cowboy fans when Jones has been in charge.

Frederick was the only offensive lineman the Cowboys took in the draft. Evidently, Jones believes that replacing the center will solve all of the ills that plagued an offense line that produced the second-worst rushing attack in the league in 2012.

It does not matter if Garrett, Callahan or Bill Walsh were calling the plays. The Cowboys are not going to win at an elite level until they address the personnel issues on the team.

Those issues will not be addressed as long as Jones insists on trying to be the general manager. Jones can switch out every coach on the staff, and it will not make a difference because the coaching staff is not the problem.

Until Jones relinquishes his duties as the general manager, the Cowboys are destined to mire in mediocrity.

Michael Taglienti lives in Dallas, and has been covering all levels of football for five years. His articles have been featured on CNN and numerous other websites.

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