In the aftermath of letting T.O . go yesterday, there are lots of pundits trying to explain the real reason T.O. was fired.
I think there were several reasons why this huge change came to be starting with Jerry Jones himself. If Jerry were making this decision by himself, T.O. would still be a Cowboy. But mounting pressure, and public perception of Jerry Jones the General Manager was well publicized since the poor performance of the team last season. I have no way to proove this, but I feel like Stephen Jones took his dad aside and explained how stupid keeping T.O. for another year would implode this team from the inside.
Last June at Texas Stadium, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Terrell Owens dipped their hands into a giant bowl of popcorn as they celebrated the signing of a four-year, $34 million extension that supposedly would allow wide receiver to retire a Cowboy.
On Wednesday night in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Jones; his son Stephen, the club’s executive vice president; Owens; and Owens’ agents, Drew and Jason Rosenhaus, held a much more private and somber get-together. Already in Florida for an NFL meeting, Jones wanted to tell Owens face to face that the Cowboys would be moving on without him in 2009.
Twice in the last three weeks, Jones hinted at Owens’ return, but he never definitively said he would be back. This was in stark contrast to Jones’ defense of coach Wade Phillips as the 2008 season came to a close.
“When you’re 13-3, you think everything is going right,” Stephen Jones said, referring to the Cowboys’ record in 2007. “When you go 9-7 and don’t do all the things you want to do, you look at everything you’re doing, including personnel.”
I just feel like Stephen Jones stepped up and squared off against his dad’s idea here, and more importantly, I think Jerry listened for a change. Stephen woke Jerry up to the fact that the bad taste that T.O. left everyone with, was not a good sign for the new stadium. I believe T.O.’s poor attitude and poor public image finally cost him his job. Jerry has to sell tickets now, he can’t be drug down in the weekly antics of T.O.
“In the aftermath of the season, we talked about change. Some of what is changing involves the process and some of it involves people. This is a decision that was made based upon consideration for an entire team.
“We will move on now with a new team – a new attitude – and into a new stadium. The evaluation process and the prospect for change will continue at every level of the organization.”
It’s pretty easy to see T.O. wore out his welcome here in Dallas and the Dallas Cowboys need a new attitude to go with the new digs in Arlington. I will always credit Stephen Jones as the voice of sanity in this period of transition. I’m glad Jerry listened to him.