Grading the local Owners
Jerry Jones: A-
The Cowboys were bad in the 80’s. Not just bad, really bad. Enter in a Razorback named Jerry Jones. First orders of business: Fire the legendary Tom Landry to bring in an old friend, draft a scrawny QB who would lead the Boys to a pitiful 1-15 season and trade a fan favorite only to waste the draft pick on an undersized running back. Yes, there was a time in Dallas when Sunday morning sermons revolved around the pudgy devil in a business suit.
Enter in 1992.
The Cowboys started the first of their 3 Super Bowls in a 4-year time span in dominating fashion. A rivalry budded with San Francisco as the Eagles and Redskins could only grit their teeth and watch with envy. At the time, Jones was a maverick owner who revolutionized the marketing industry with the franchise. Jones was such the glory hog that Jimmie Johnson decided to pack up his wagon and leave for sunny Miami. The hated Barry Switzer served a short stint riding on the coattails of his predecessor…and then things got bad.
Chan Gailey, Dave Campo and the incumbent Bill “The Con Man” Parcells have all passed through the hallowed halls of Valley Ranch. But, Jones’ more relaxed attitude with Parcells has raised his grade slightly in this what-have-you-done-for-me-lately city. He finally learned that he is merely the caretaker of the Cowboys and the city of Dallas owns them. Bringing in TO was an idiot-savant move that still has many of the die-hard Dallas faithful shaking their heads. Yours truly has already bought his Titans jersey anticipating the moment that VY will take the field. Luckily, the Titans are an AFC team or else I may have been disowned from my family.
Mark Cuban: B
I’ll admit I bought into the Mark Cuban bandwagon pretty hard. Maybe it was his carefree attitude or the questionable haircut. Sue me, the man makes a mean Dairy Queen cone. But, seeing the Mavericks melt down in the NBA Finals brought out the true colors of the guy…it’s ALWAYS someone else’s fault.
Cuban proclaimed to be the fan with money. His need for publicity far outweighs his ability to effectively manage a basketball team. When an owners antics lead the story instead of a 15-17 shooting night for Jason Terry, there’s a problem.
However, like Jones, he turned a truly dismal franchise into a winner. He redesigned the look of the Mavericks and turned then from laughing stock to title contender. Antic aside, he is a great thing for this franchise. But, until he puts his fine money into a quarter jar I have setup for him, I stand firm on my grade. (Yes, folks, this is REAL journalism)
Tom Hicks: D+
Not much is known about Thomas O. Hicks. Perhaps it’s the flat personality or the unmarked cave in which he dwells that makes it hard to gauge a read on him. His moves with the Stars, at first, were brilliant. He took a gamble by signing an aging Brett Hull which led the Northstars/Stars franchise to their only Stanley Cup. (And a devastating Finals appearance the next season) But, he jumped the shark when he pushed Bob Gainey and Ken Hitchcock out of the fray. While the Stars certainly provide excitement, they are a 2nd round team at best thanks to the inconsistent goaltending of Marty Turco…who was signed to a rich extension. Hicks also made the “brilliant” move of hiring his puppet, Buck Showalter, to oversee the Rangers operations. He is also taking a gamble with John Daniels, who only recently celebrated his 10 year high school reunion. I’m not sold on these moves. I don’t see the improvement that they are apparently making. In typical Ranger fashion, the AL West is slowly slipping away the last half of the season. The Rangers, in recent years, have mirrored the decline of the Texas A&M football program. Check that…at least the Aggies have something in their trophy case to show for it.