Monday, May 4, 2009

Freaky Friday For Two Franchises

Yep, I've just referenced Freaky Friday, the book and movie about the mother and daughter who switch bodies and live each others lives. Here at SportsPants we try to weave everything together. By "we" I mean myself and by "try" I mean that I make no special effort whatsoever.

It just seems like a very Freaky Friday moment right now as I live in Phoenix and read news about suddenly successful Cardinals while I watch footage about a tornado collapsing the Dallas Cowboys practice facility.

Here are two teams with about as opposite of a history as you can have. The Cowboys are America's Team while the Cardinals are America's Joke.

Yet the tragic collapse of the practice facility is pretty much a metaphor for the Cowboys franchise under Jerry Jones. Sure, the Cowboys had that initial
burst of success in the early 90's due to the Jimmy Johnson/Jerry Jones combo, but those teams turned out to be as embarrassing off the field as they were good on the field.

Once Jimmy left, the Cowboys slowly deflated like one of those cheap helium balloons you get at Chuck E Cheese. Jones insisted on managing the team and did such a poor job of it that the Cowboys ended up with several 5-11 seasons before Jones finally realized he was a total tyro i
n the NFL and hired Bill Parcells to fix the team.

Under the Tuna, the Cowboys had some good drafts, but still never
won a playoff game. Now that Parcells is gone down to Miami, Jones has resumed control and is once again sending the Cowboys into the basement. If you need any more proof of this, just look back at the most recent NFL draft. There was Jerry Jones and his son on television discussing a draft pick while head coach Wade Phillips was off in the corner with his hands in his pockets (probably waiting for the pizza guy). Oh yeah, it's all about Jerry.

So the team with one of the richest histories of the Super Bowl era with a legendary coach that was the ultimate professional has now turned into a team with flash, but no substance run by a business man who is a marketing genius, but has no earthly idea how to run a good franchise and whos
e ego won't allow him to admit it.

The Cowboys haven't won a playoff game in 13 years, the only team in the NFC East team without a playoff victory in this decade, an aging offen
sive line, no proven lead receiver, a recent purge of talented but troubled players, and very little incoming talent to replace departed veterans.

A collapse is coming, just wait. There won't be a lot of joy in that shiny new stadium after a few years.

Meanwhile the Cardinals are talking about slowly working the second year players into productive team roles. The Cardinals got exactly who they wanted in the draft when Beanie Wells fell to them. Wells isn't being asked to save the franchise or even start, he just needs to be a productive backup for Tim Hightower, but Wells has the talent to be a steal for the Cards.

The team has the best receiver in the NFL, a young and feisty defense, and a coaching staff that is incredibly consistent with what they are trying to accomplish.

Sure, the Cardinals have some problems with a few angry players like Anquan Boldin and Darnell Dockett who want bigger contracts, but the locker room isn't being torn apart by these activities. The team should rule the NFC West division for the next few years.

The Cardinals will be good, the Cowboys will be bad, and dogs and cats will be living together.

Somebody call the Ghostbusters, I think the end of the world might be coming.


  1. I agree with you that the Cowboys aren't going to put much of a season together, and it's completely fair to blame Jerry as much as possible, but I also don't see the Cardinals replicating last year's Super Bowl run. Knowing the little I know at this point, I predict a first round playoff loss for them, and I wouldn't be surprised if they don't even make it that far.

  2. Yes, but they're the Cardinals. They are actually relevant. The battle has already been won.

  3. Fair enough. And for the sake of what Cardinals fans there are in the world, that's good. As far as good things happening to the Bidwells... Not so sure.

  4. I can count on one hand the major franchise owners that are honestly good people....