The Dallas Cowboys are coming off a third straight 8-8 record and need to begin to make changes regarding their approach to both the culture and the structure. The organization currently consists of what I would consider a few decent players such as Jason Witten, Dez Bryant and Tyron Smith. However, what I believe is their main problem is the organization of contracts and contract structure.
Jerry Jones, while a fantastic owner, shouldn’t be the main man responsible for deciding who and who not to sign to contract extensions. The Cowboys seemingly feel the necessity to overpay individual players that they feel are worthy of these hefty contracts because of their individual contributions to the team in the previous year.
What inevitably occurs is Jones paying B+ players as A+ players, limiting the amount of depth that his team as a whole can have. If you were to have any doubts as to just how important depth is in today’s NFL, you need to look no further than the Super Bowl XLVIII Champion Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks built their team by seemingly not overpaying any one individual and have thus, in my opinion, created a culture where it is about the team more than any one individual.
The Cowboys need to understand that by not having depth at virtually any position that during the rigors of an NFL season they are ill equipped to handle injuries, and thus have to resort to signing personnel that might be lucky to make the practice squad on another team.
The Cowboys have created a culture of apathy where the potential of making the playoffs is good enough. This thinking is not only harming the team in the short-term, but will only continue until change is forced upon it.
The Cowboys are seemingly more interested with putting on an entertaining “show” rather than taking the necessary steps in order to become a powerhouse in today’s NFL. I believe that the first place the change needs to occur is in regards to player apathy. By paying individuals large amounts it may decrease their desire to work and take the steps that are essential in order to continue to have success in the league. The Cowboys are in a state of apathy across all levels of the organization and it will remain this way until the culture is allowed to change.