IRVING, Texas -- If you were really listening to Jerry Jones during Thursday's news conference, then you got a look at how the Dallas Cowboys really operate.
Given Jones' penchant to meander, it is sometimes difficult to follow his path.
In talking about being named the NFL's Executive of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America, Jones opened the door to how the Cowboys conduct their business. It wasn't him just being humbled by the honor.
“What really came to play this year as much as any time, was standing on the shoulders of Stephen [Jones], standing on the shoulders of Will [McClay], standing on the shoulders of a great staff of not just personnel, but also a real inclusive -- led by Jason [Garrett] -- group of coaches to help us evaluate and make decisions,” Jones said. “And it was a good experience. And it was one that we had some success in it. And so I know this is an old cliché, but that recognition really is for this organization.”
Jones is, has been and will be the Cowboys general manager for as long as he wants to be. It’s his right as the owner of the team.
But he is not a general manager in the way Trent Baalke is a general manager with the San Francisco 49ers or Ryan Pace will be with the Chicago Bears. Jones is not getting his hands dirty, so to speak, on the road searching for players here, there and everywhere.
He is more a delegator-in-chief, letting the people he hires do the dirty work and he makes the bigger decisions. He was not part of the process to sign tackles R.J. Dill and Ryan Miller to reserve/future deals on Thursday. He won’t be dissecting hours and hours of tape leading into the draft.
He will be in all the draft meetings. He will listen to the cases made by the scouts and coaches. He will talk to his friends across the league and those outside the building. He will have his opinions, too.
As Jean-Jacques Taylor wrote, the Cowboys are set up for Jones to be a good listener. That doesn’t mean he always likes what he’s been told.
“I have a little rule,” Jones said. “There are a lot of times that I flare and don’t like what I am hearing and that shows. That does show. But then about the time I get on back there and settle down and think about it by myself or go home and sleep on it then it’s very common for me to come back and basically say, 'I think we'll go that way.' So the point is that we have a lot of people very qualified, very qualified people. Frankly, we spend a lot of the resources of the Cowboys to have these people. And we have a large number of them. I really do use them in decision-making and what I intend to do is certainly to take this encouragement and the encouragement by the year that we had and I am going to analyze every good thing we did and how it impacted having this good year and I am going to double-up there and then I am going to cut back, when I find a few things that we probably went the wrong way on and I am going to try to get those out of the mix. I am going to take the good things and really expand and push them with more intensity.”