Something is going on in the halls of Valley Ranch. Sure, the Dallas Cowboys are preparing for their first playoff game a week from now, but it is something else. Sure, it’s the infusion of other team GMs and owners interviewing their staff…but…it’s something else. It’s something that only Jerry Jones knows…and maybe a couple of others.
See, I lived in Dallas for 6 years and I read all the papers on how Jones is the only guy that calls all the shots. I listened to the 1310 the Ticket radio show and heard all the talk of how Jones doesn’t let his team be picked apart without some fight. Yet, now, Jones is not putting up a fight…he isn’t even putting on a brave face. Something is definately going on at Valley Ranch.
Of course the rumor is a trade with the Miami Dolphins for the top pick in the draft. That would surely make Jerry happy. If he truly does want Darren McFadden out of Arkansas…where Jones is an alumni. Enough to make him happy though? Actually….yes.
Jones has been enamored with McFadden for awhile. He watches all the Ark games, he was seen after games taking pictures with the kid, he likes his attitude, he likes his play, he likes everything about him. So why would one of the most egotistial owners in the NFL simply let the one guy he covets more than any other simply go to another team? He won’t…at least not without a fight.
That is where the weird feeling at the Ranch comes in. Jones was quick to say that he would not allow his coaching staff to be decimated without a fight. Jones was quick to say that he couldn’t stop Ireland from leaving but he would not release him from his contract until after the draft. Big words from a man who traditionally doesn’t back track much.
So what happened? Jone back tracked. Not in a week, not in a few days, but literally in a matter of hours. Respect for Bill Parcells? Please. Jones does nothing unless it benefits his Cowboys. Nothing! Don’t believe me? Ask any Cowboy fan…ask Jimmy Johnson.
So what did happen. Why after Jones had to allow Jeff Ireland to interview did he get on the phone with Parcells and Wayne and hammer out a plan that would immediately allow Ireland to leave the Boyz’? Withint a matter of hours, Jones went from saying “you won’t leave” to “good luck”. Jones had the rights to keep Ireland in Dallas as he wished or demand money and/or draft picks. He got neither. What he did get was “I am comfortable with our agreement to protect the interests of the Cowboys and the secrets and draft preparation that Jeff has been working on. After speaking with Bill and Wayne, I am confident that the Cowboys’ best interests have been served.” Or something to that effect. So why? Again, Jones does nothing without thinking of himself or the team.
The first speculation obviously is a trade involving the number overall pick. Rumors immediately flew about Marion Barber, 2 first round picks, LB Bobby Carpenter…all, some, or whatever, for McFadden. Could it possibly be that important?
Considering that Barber is a RFA and Jones UFA, maybe it is. A more likely scenario, what about a gurantee that Dolphins will allow the Cowboys to match any offer for the pick? Or maybe a guarantee that the Dolphins will not trade the pick to a division or conference rival or team? Maybe, maybe, maybe. Something. Anything.
Jerry Jones is not acting like Jerry Jones these days. He is allowing Miami to pick and choose it’s coaching staff from the current staff of Jerry Jones. He is allowing Tony Sparano to talk with assistant coaches. This is not Jerry Jones.
It is a long ways off to the NFL draft. It is only a tad bit closer to the start of the NFL new year. Free Agency. Trading. Yet, something is going on…deep in the walls, behind closed doors, in the black lincoln down the street, something is going on. We only get to hear rumors…but make no mistake…in Valley Ranch…something changed Jerry Jones…and it is connected to the Miami Dolphins.