Raiders and Cowboys Suffer Same Malady

By MikeBullock  |   Wednesday, November 25, 2009  |  Comments( 3 )

Oakland Raiders
Got something to say?

Log In above and share your thoughts on this topic with other fans!

The Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys are two of the most storied franchises in NFL history. Between them, they hold eight Superbowl titles, which accounts for just shy of twenty percent of the Lombardi trophies given out. The two teams have combined for thirteen Conference Championships and the Raiders also hold an AFL Championship.

However, the last decade has not been overly kind to either franchise. The once mighty monsters of the gridiron, with the exception of the Raiders brief playoff run and Superbowl loss from 2000-2002, have hardly upheld their past glory in recent years.

Many say “it’s good for the NFL” to have both teams succeeding, but what’s good for the NFL and what’s reality don’t always dovetail.

How is it that two teams who were once so dominant could fall on such hard times? Looking at the way both franchises are structured certainly gives a clue as to the floundering nature of the clubs.

Two of the three teams in the NFL whose owners are often referred to as “coach” reside in Dallas and Oakland. And, while Al Davis could be considered the greatest coach of all time (more on that later), Jerry Jones has no business micro-managing a professional football team. As for Davis, his coaching days are in the past and now he’s proven to be more a hindrance than a help to his teams leadership structure.

Al Davis began his days in Oakland as professional football’s youngest ever Head Coach and General Manager, at that time. He revamped the team, from uniforms to play style and by the end of his second season was named AFL Coach of the Year. Davis parlayed this into a position as Commissioner of the American Football League, then after the AFL-NFL merger, he returned to the Raiders, but this time as part owner, with control of football operations. He hasn’t relinquished that control yet.

Jerry Jones entered into the world of high profile football not long after Davis, as an offensive lineman for the Arkansas Razorbacks. Despite a modicum of success there, Jones did not immediately enter the NFL. After several failed business ventures, Jones turned to “Texas Tea” and made his money as an oil baron in Arkansas. By 1989 Jones had made enough to purchase the Dallas Cowboys and wasted no time reshaping the once great franchise in his image, declaring himself General Manager and ousting the greatest coach in Cowboys history, Tom Landry. Jones still holds complete control of the organization to this day.

While some may say Jones had a great eye for talent and quickly built a spectacular ball club, further inspection reveals he “pulled a Yankee” and simply outspent the rest of the league before the modern era of Free Agency took hold in 1993. Just as with the aforementioned New York Yankees, many have accused Jones of simply buying championships.

Davis on the other hand is noted for an incredible amount of charisma and persuasiveness that has allowed him to sweet talk just about any coveted player into joining the Silver and Black. While this worked wonders for several decades, as Davis’ control has been noted as becoming more and more overbearing in recent years, his ability to bring in talented coaches has diminished greatly. Another factor to consider is the “celebrity” that comes with head coaching positions these days, which gives the coaches a certain sense of entitlement found when signing multi-million dollar contracts. That entitlement makes a job viewed as being Davis’ puppet very unappealing.

When looking at the most successful franchises in recent years, none of the teams with micro-managing owners have achieved much of anything. Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder attempts the “pull a Yankee” approach year in and year out, yet his team routinely lands in the bottom of the standings. The same can be said for Oakland and Dallas.

Until these owners pull back and “know their role”, chances are things won’t be changing for their franchises.

In the meantime, two of them meet on the field Thanksgiving Day for the first time since 2005, when Oakland took the victory. Maybe, instead of playing the actual game, Jones and Davis should go out to midfield and have a chess match, winner take all. At least that way one of the two could land a better ownership scenario and get back to glory.

Such a match would be interesting, with Davis persuasively outwitting Jones and Jones trying to buy Davis off, giving viewers an acute vision of what really goes on behind their office doors.
Got something to say?

Log In above and share your thoughts on this topic with other fans! (3)

Article Tools Share!   |  RSS  |  Bleacher Report About Bleacher Report