Mind Over Matter Is A Foreign Concept To The Jerry Jones Cowboys

With 1:20 left on the clock in Dallas’ shocking 37-36 loss to Green Bay on Sunday—in which the Cowboys blew a 26-3 halftime lead and Tony Romo did his usual December dump with two interceptions in the final 3 minutes—a pissed Dez Bryant was shown exiting the field and walking into the tunnel.

Bryant was tighter than William “The Refrigerator” Perry rocking a pair of XS skinny jeans, because that was Dallas’ worst loss in a while. One minute he was the hero, making a spectacular catch to put Dallas in line for a win—which, coupled with losses by all the other NFC Least squads, would have lifted the Cowboys into a first-place tie with Philly.

Instead, the Cowboys blew it (which is nothing new this time of year). Then Bryant blew his top. His immature actions were typical of what’s been holding Dallas back as much as it’s horrific D, which has given up eight TDs in the last two weeks to backup QBs. Bryant has always been a temperamental tornado, but he needs to get a grip. Despite his obvious talents, he’s a Grade A headache for the organization. Championship teams win and lose with class, but that’s something many would say Dallas has exhibited very little of these past few years.

“My disappointment lies with Dez Bryant,” NBC Sunday Night Football analyst Rodney Harrison said. “There’s (time) left in the game and he walks off the field. I thought this was a very selfish move and very immature move. In the playoffs you’re going to face adversity. If he faces adversity in the playoffs will he just walk away?”

Dan Patrick was sure to caution Harrison, saying, “That’s if they make the playoffs.”

Harrison is typical of the many media heads who always give Dallas the benefit of the doubt—even when ripping them.

Consequently, Dallas balls with a sense of entitlement, never quite living up to the expectations. There’s an assumed excellence that’s rarely met. Like its owner, Dallas puts on a good face of being in control, but more often than not these cats are at the wheel doing 150, drunk with blindfolds on. Don’t forget the diamond shines and the model dime piece riding shotgun.

Straight flossing is what they do. It’s what Bryant did when he knew all of the cameras in the NFL world was on him and he still sh*t on his team and the AT&T Stadium faithful. It was his way of saying, “Look I can’t stick around for this mess. I did my part but once again that Romo guy gave the game away.”

With Dallas, it’s all about the show and passing the buck. Problem is Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith, Ken Norton Jr., Troy Aikman and Charley Haley aren’t the performers. The old-school Cowboys knew how to keep emotions in check and embraced the team concept.

Indeed, Bryant was beasting out there, grabbing a season-high 11 passes for 153 yards. But he dropped the ball by skating on his squad in the waning moments of a tough loss. A true leader would keep his team positive and ready to battle for a playoff spot still up for grabs. All Bryant did was create a potential media distraction and garner some more bad will with the fans.

Dallas spends major chips and has the dopest Jumbotron in pro sports. A July 2013 article from Forbes Magazine lists the Cowboys as the second highest valued sports franchise in the United States (behind the New York Yankees), and fifth in the world, with an estimated value of approximately $2.1 billion. They are also the wealthiest team in the NFL, generating almost $269 million in annual revenue.

Their owner is a legend with a net worth of $2.7 billion. He’s one of those larger than life icons and shining symbols of American capitalism. Dudes like Jones own professional teams because it’s the final conquest in a financial career that has seen them topple titans and rise to unfathomable wealth and prominence. The intrigue of pro sports ownership lies in the uncertainty of the results. Jones has already figured out how to move money and inflict his financial will upon people, but masterminding an NFL franchise is like smoking a new Kush-strain of unrivaled, mind-numbing potency. Any ambitious mogul would crave it. Owning the Dallas Cowboys has probably been Jones’ biggest challenge as a person. The early years were filled with Hall of Fame talent and league domination. Life was fast, the players were wilder than the Grateful Dead on a 60-city tour and the worst thing that probably could have happened to Jones was that he won multiple Super Bowls, while making moves that rubbed the fan base the wrong way at times. Most Cowboys fans hated it when he chucked legendary coach Tom Landry for his homie Jimmy Johnson. They hate the 20-year Super Bowl drought most of all.

He came out the shoot looking like the NFL’s Gordon Gekko. Every move JJ made struck gold as far as the bottom line—winning.

As soon as he bought the team in 1989, Dallas orchestrated the biggest heist in NFL history, trading Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings for five veteran players and eight draft choices. The Cowboys were coming off their worst season in almost 30 years and “The Trade" allowed Dallas to rebuild in an eye blink.

In retrospect, that early success probably made Jones believe he was an ingenious football mind. Who could blame him? That 1993 squad had an NFL-record 11 Pro Bowlers. It’s become increasingly clear over the past two decades that the more Jones mettles in personnel decisions, the less successful the Cowboys are. He is one of two NFL owners who also have the title of general manager, the other being the Cincinnati Bengals’ Mike Brown.

Real Clear Sports summed up the Cowboys’ scenario to perfection: “(Jones’) Cowboys won three Super Bowls in his first six years as an owner. But those great Cowboys teams of the early and mid-90s disintegrated amidst a storm of egos, none bigger than his own, and now have not won a playoff game since 1997.

Despite having the money, the mind, the rings and the talent, Jones’ inflexibility has stunted his success. A personality as strong as Jones’ often permeates throughout the entire organization, and his large-rap, low-result methodology has spread like a plague from the front office, to the celebrity sky boxes that host the world’s platinum celebrities, to the field.

It’s been wearing so thin on Cowboys Nation that there’s a movement of fans that have petitioned President Obama to jack the team from Jones, believing Jones is the reason these current Cowboys have gotten out of touch with their football reality.

Jones giving up his empire is as unlikely as Kanye West dumping Kim Kardashian, but it shows fans are becoming increasingly tired of the excuses heads make for the Cowboys’ failures. On NFL Network Kurt Warner said Dallas’ Swiss Cheese defense failed them against the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers. Deon Sanders said it was bad play calling, which forced Dallas away from the rushing game.

The NFL’s about leaving it all on the field as a unit. Nobody bails until that clock strikes 0’s. Weak links break chains. Bryant cheated the system and couldn’t stay committed to the end. He once again failed the test of mind over matter. That seems to be the Cowboys way.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.