FRISCO, Texas — Having lived through the Dallas Cowboys‘ decline after three Super Bowl wins in the 1990s and witnessed the franchise’s continued struggles, longtime broadcaster and Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman said he believes major organizational changes will be needed if the team doesn’t turn it around in the second half of this season.
Those changes could include owner and general manager Jerry Jones, the one constant during a parade of coaches. Aikman mentioned the coaches since the Cowboys’ last Lombardi Trophy — Chan Gailey, Dave Campo, Bill Parcells, Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett — none of whom has been able to take the team to an NFC Championship Game, let alone a Super Bowl.
“Go through the list and this team, over a long period of time, has been what it’s been,” Aikman said Tuesday on 1310 The Ticket. “It hasn’t always mattered who the head coach has been. So to me, if you’re asking me, I’d say there has to be a complete overhaul of the entire organization.”
Jones has been the general manager since 1989, but he does not operate as a traditional general manager. He leans mostly on executive vice president Stephen Jones, vice president of player personnel Will McClay and Garrett in personnel moves.
“I’ve heard Jerry say, ‘OK, look, we’re going to do it differently. I’m going to do it differently.’ … But it’s the same. Nothing changes,” Aikman said. “And that to me is the bigger issue. … Yes, coaching is important, personnel, all those things are important, but how are you going about evaluating how you’re going about running the organization?
“Whatever that looks like — and everyone has an opinion on what it does look like, but I’m not in the building. I have no idea. I talk to people. I talk to people who have been inside the building and have a pretty good understanding how things are run, and in a lot of ways there’s a lot of dysfunction, and that has to change if this team is going to be able to compete on a consistent basis like the teams that you look to around the league that seemingly are in the hunt each and every year.”
Aikman is a close friend of Garrett from their years together as Dallas teammates, but he has been critical of Garrett through the years.
Jones said after Monday’s 28-14 loss to the Tennessee Titans there was no scenario in which he would make an in-season head-coaching change. Since purchasing the team he has done so once, elevating Garrett to the position in 2010 after Phillips got off to a 1-7 start.
Garrett was asked on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas if he was worried about his job.
“I’m just focused on getting our team to play as well as we can play,” said Garrett, who has a 70-58 career record, including 3-5 this season. “We’ll learn from that experience [Monday] and get our eyes forward to Philadelphia.
Aikman said: “I can’t think of a loss that was this bad at this point of a year.” But he said he does not believe Jones would make a change if the Cowboys finish the season below .500 because he is “comfortable” with Garrett.
“One thing Jerry has done over the years, whether it’s been accurate or not, is he’s done things to at least give the fan base hope going into the next year,” Aikman said.