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Sally’s sorry, Jerruh’s gutless

Oct 16, 2008, 8:50 PM EST

I’m certainly one to bust on the media when they get it wrong, so I’m stepping up here to send out kudos to a couple of writers who got it right.

One, shockingly, is Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post. After the Redskins’ opener, she couldn’t wait to bash Jim Zorn and the rest of the Redskins players, coaches, and front office personnel. I think the only reason she didn’t lambaste the crew that cleans the Redskins Park offices after hours was due to a lack of space in the paper.

The fact is that Zorn is quite clearly just another underling who is working with what he has been so hastily given. As he stood on the field at Giants Stadium, watching the Redskins commit assorted miscues on their way to a lamentably bad 16-7 loss to the Giants, he at times barely seemed to be part of the organization, much less in charge of it. He followed the action on the field 10 yards away from any of his coaches and players, his arms crossed contemplatively, checking a clipboard occasionally, identifiable as a head coach only by the red challenge flag sticking out of his back pocket.

Today, she is singing quite the different tune.

[Zorn is] astute, tactically exciting, and he makes people believe. Under another coach it would be tempting to write the Redskins off as inevitably mediocre after a loss like last Sunday’s to the previously winless Rams, 19-17. But Zorn has done something that didn’t seem possible, which is to get the organization working together in a coherent, functional way. Whatever the problem is, you get the feeling that he’ll fix it.

She gains a great deal of credibility in my book by using the “w” word:

After their dreadful opener against the Giants, a mortifying occasion for Zorn, I wrote them off prematurely, and was wrong.

You don’t hear many who were prematurely shoveling dirt on the grave of the 2008 Redskins saying that they were wrong. They have changed their tunes, but few have looked back and admitted that they were rushing to judgment.

There has been no rush to judgment when it comes to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, but the media still have him painted as some sort of genius even though his team hasn’t won a playoff game in a decade. Even now that the Pacman Jones experiment has blown up in his face, few are calling Jerruh “It was a Nothing” Jones out on it.

Ian O’Connor, writing on FoxSports.com, is one of the few. He opens up on the Cowboys owner with both barrels. Here’s the opening salvo:

All these years later, Jerry Jones finally got what was coming to him. Roger Goodell emasculated Jones the way the Dallas Cowboys’ owner once emasculated Tom Landry.

Goodell exposed Jones as a gutless wonder, as a leader afraid to lead. By suspending Pacman Jones for at least four games, the NFL commissioner was only doing what the Dallas owner was terrified of doing.

The right thing.

O’Connor says that Jones’ gutless ways manifested themselves in the Cowboys’ loss to Arizona.

Jerry Jones will never know if his team would’ve been energized by a firm and just decision to suspend Pacman, because Jones didn’t have the nerve to make that decision. Even though the owner had admitted that the cornerback “had created with his actions no benefit of the doubt,” Jones gave Pacman the benefit of the doubt, anyway, because he thought it would get him to 5-1.

There’s plenty more excellent O’Connor commentary on America’s Owner, be sure to check it out.

  1. Anonymous - Oct 17, 2008 at 11:57 AM

    , well, i was close…i did remember the game, sort of.

    i thought we were out in front by 2 td’s and i remeber the excitement generated by the new players.

    as usual, the browns were tough. in particular collins and ryan

    but it was a preview of things to come with sonny.. lots of fun, but not quite good enough overall as a team to make use of his marvelous gifts as a qb..

    those were the days

    shally

  2. Anonymous - Oct 19, 2008 at 7:47 AM

    [I posted this comment on another blog, but I'm more interested in your thoughts, Rich...]

    I saw on another web site that Jerry Jones may have been quite manipulative in his non-suspension of P. Jones. Basically, according to Pacman’s contract, if the league suspended Pacman (and the team did NOT), then the Cowboys would get back the draft pick they traded to the Titans. So the Cowboys had more to lose by suspending Pacman than they would have by waiting for Goodell to do it.

    A conspiracy theorist would point out that Pacman happened to do a suspension-worthy act right before the trade deadline, in time for the Cowboys to get back that same draft pick, which they could then use for a wide receiver.

    Thoughts? Is this a debunkable myth?

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