DFW Sports Musings for January 5, 2014
By Matthew Postins
Jerry Jones says he supports an expanded playoff format. Here’s the quote:
“From the standpoint of looking at how exciting it is for a city or a community to be involved in the playoffs and the fact that you can have a team that might have literally operated at .500 or in that area . . . you can have that team win the Super Bowl,” Jones said. “That makes a big case for adding a couple of more cities or communities that have NFL teams to the playoffs. It just creates that much more excitement and that much more interest for people in those communities. So I fall on the side of the ledger that would increase the playoffs.”
So Jerry wants other communities to experience the excitement and grandeur of the NFL playoffs, just like Dallas has these past four yea… oh, wait. Sorry. Too soon?
Of course, the joke’s on Jerry. Even if they NFL added two playoff teams to each conference the Cowboys still wouldn’t have made it to the playoffs any of the past three years. He just cannot catch a break can he?
My opinion? The NFL should NOT do this. Making the postseason in the NFL and MLB is special. Less than half of the teams in the league get in and that’s how it should be. The NBA and NHL playoffs allow at least half those teams to make the postseason and the first-round matchups just seem watered down. Keep it the way it is, Mr. Goodell.
Of course, money talks, and no one is better at talking about money than Jerry Jones. Nobody.
More from Jerry as the season concluded last week. Here’s why he’s keeping Jason Garrett as head coach in 2014:
“We’ve put a lot of effort in training as a franchise into Jason Garrett, and I want to take advantage of that,” Jones said. “If we don’t have him, we don’t get payback for all the miscues and losses and criticism of sideline management. We don’t get a chance to benefit from the one way you learn, and that is the mistakes you make. So I want to have him around to learn. I’ve seen another smart coach, a very smart coach, learn from a lot of mistakes early and go on and win Super Bowls. Most of them do.”
I suppose there’s an inherent logic to that, and if it were coming out of the mouth of any other general manager, I might actually buy it. But it’s Jerry Jones so I just can’t. I mean, he obviously understands everything that’s being said about both himself and Garrett, but he apparently doesn’t see that Garrett just hasn’t grown much as a coach in the three-plus seasons he’s been in charge.
The least Jones could do in 2014, since Garrett is entering the final year of his deal, is give Garrett more of a say in his fate. Give Garrett latitude to hire and fire assistant coaches. Give him some power to cut players and police the roster more openly. Give Garrett back his play-calling duties. Theoretically last piece is what he does best. If you’re going to put Garrett’s job on the line, let him have the room to operate like most of the other NFL’s head coaches.
Need to know the difference between a pay cut and a contract restructure? Ask DeMarcus Ware. He’ll be happy to tell you, especially after members of the local notebook brigade interpreted “I will do whatever I need to do to maneuver some things around to help the team out” as Ware’s willingness to take a pay cut. Oh no, D-Ware said on Monday. He’s happy to restructure his deal, but he’s not taking a pay cut.
Translation: I’m not Doug Free.
Jason Hatcher told reporters after last Sunday’s loss that he’s going to get what he’s worth in free agency. The Cowboys would be wise to steer clear of the 32-year-old coming off a career season. We all know how well that usually works out.
The race to watch during Rangers spring training is closer. The Rangers have three solid candidates – Neftali Feliz, Joakim Soria and Tanner Scheppers. Oddly, right now, I like Scheppers. And I don’t have a clear reason why. Just my gut talking. My gut would also like a steak from Truluck’s.
And here’s one more name just for grins – Miles Mikolas. Who? The Rangers traded for this guy, who was in the Padres organization last year and was dealt to Pittsburgh. He was in Triple A last year and he had 26 saves in Tucson. I throw him in because the Rangers had to put him on the 40-man roster, so they must see something.
Dirk Nowitzki says the Mavericks are not a playoff team. He was speaking in the right now and in the moments after the Mavs lost to the Clippers on Friday night. But do you see the same thing I’m seeing? A team that plays great on offense but can’t hold a lead? No, not the Cowboys. The Mavericks.
By the way, one has to wonder if Charlie Strong knows what he’s about to get himself into. Louisville ain’t Austin, baby. Heck, Gainesville, Strong’s last stop as an Urban Meyer assistant, ain’t Austin either.