1989 seems like longer than 20 years ago. In many respects, it was an entirely different world. A cell phone in 1989 was roughly the size of a brick, and only those on the cutting edge owned one. Gasoline cost less than $1 a gallon. Communist Russia was just starting to crack, with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the standoff in Tiananmen Square. The US Government issued a $150MM bail-out of Savings and Loan institutions. OK, so maybe not everything has changed.
In the Cowboys Universe; however, the changes are even more staggering, and we believe that they reflect our guiding premise that Owner Jones has accomplished some impressive feats, while GM Jerry has made some monumental mistakes, reflected in the analysis below:
Value of Cowboys Franchise
In 1989, Jones purchased the Cowboys for $150 MM. Forbes currently ranks the Cowboys #1 in terms of overall value, at a staggering $1.6 B.
Synopsis: Owner Jones scores big by increasing franchise value more than 10 fold
Number of Head Coaches
When Jones purchased the team in 1989, Tom Landry was the only head coach in franchise history. Since then there have been 7 different men to take the helm.
Synopsis: GM Jerry puts his ego ahead of the team, firing Jimmy Johnson and ushering in an era of instability at the supposed top spot of head coach
Prior to 1989, the Cowboys made the Cotton Bowl and Texas Stadium their home. Texas Stadium had seating capacity of 65,675 and cost $35MM to build. The new stadium in Arlington, TX (a.k.a. JerryWorld) will hold a whopping 80,000 fans, and can be configured to hold an estimated 100,000 for special events. The cost to build is $1.3 B.
Synopsis: Owner Jones pulls off a coup in getting public financing in Arlington for what figures to be an impressive money-making machine
Playoff Winning Percentage
Between 1960 and 1988, the Cowboys made the playoffs 18 times, or 62%. Once they were in the tournament, they won 69% of the time, including 2 Super Bowls. Since 1989, the Cowboys have made the playoffs 11 times, or 55%. They have won in the playoffs 55% of the time, including 3 Super Bowls.
Synopsis: Looking at the raw numbers, GM Jerry has a case that while his percentages don’t quite match the pre-Jerry days, they are none-the-less very good. Looking deeper, the more disturbing trend is that all of the playoff appearances and subsequently all of the playoff wins occurred in the first 10 years. This is a very bad indicator for the future.
What has changed from the first 10 years of Jerry’s reign to the last? In our opinion, Owner Jones has allowed GM Jerry to grasp more control; putting ego ahead of team and personnel glory ahead of results. We can only hope Owner Jones realizes the ultimate futility of this path and reins GM Jerry in.