Knocking the Cowboys

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August 1, 2002
Knocking the Cowboys
By Dave Sabo

The most surprising aspect of the premiere of the Cowboys Edition of HBO’s Hard Knocks is that a whopping three minutes goes by before we get our first glimpse of Ol’ Yella Teeth. What’s more, he somehow manages to remain off camera for vast stretches of the telecast. Perhaps HBO has discovered the Cowboys deepest secret:

Jerry Jones is dead.

Yes, Jerry Jones is dead. And he’s been replaced by an automaton that makes Cyberdyne System’s T-1000 look like something from “Mystery Science Theater 3K”. Lemme explain.

My theory is that sometime within the past few years, Ol’ Yella Teeth contracted a fatal illness (The Plague, rectal cancer, syphilis; something along those lines, I’m guessing). When it became apparent that his illness was terminal, he got the ball rolling on Cyber-Jer . Using a stunning new technology dubbed “Artificial Ignorance”, a shadow tech corporation designed and built an amazingly life-like automaton capable of convincing itself that it could run the day-to-day operations of an NFL football team while, simultaneously, duping the entire Metroplex into believing that it had a Super Bowl contender on it’s hands. They even got it to spout inanities such as, “Quincy Carter is a once in a lifetime quarterback!” in a cornpone accent not heard this side of “Hee-Haw”. The one obstacle they ran into was trying to fashion aircraft-grade aluminum into the wrinkly, bloated and misshapen lump that was Jerry Jones’ head at the time. The only solution was an industrial-grade facelift and some lipo. It took the Army Corps of Engineers the better part of a week to stretch all that rawhide and Hoover out some of that fat. The results were as horrifying as anything out of Hollywood, but mission accomplished.

Apparently, Ol’ Yella Teeth kicked sometime between his awarding that ridiculous contract to Chad Hutchinson and the signing of Bryant Westbrook. What followed were some of the most logical and beneficial moves since the Jimmah Era. Think back to Draft Day. Could it possibly have been more obvious that a secret cabal led by Double J and Tex Schramm is running the Cryboys? They cleaned up at the draft and have made all the right moves since. They tried to engineer a little blundering by seemingly muffing the first-round pick to throw us off, but nobody bought that act.

So there you have it; the Cryboys are being run by Jimmy Johnson and Tex Schramm while Cyber-Jer entertains the rubesÂ…

Yeah, well how else do you explain why that braying jackass tightened his mug and has had so much go his way lately?

Despite lurking in the background for most of the show, we do still get to see Cyber-Jer do what he does best, pretend that his once-proud franchise hasn’t been relegated to also-ran and general laughingstock status. There are not one, but two heartfelt and overly dramatic speeches from Jerrah attempting to co-opt past glories. Both make one wonder whether it’s his charges or himself that that he’s trying to convince that the Cryboys really ARE back on top.

Only slightly less surprising is the short shrift given to Emmitt’s pursuit of Walter Payton’s record. Other than acknowledging that he’s on the verge of breaking it and showing Emmitt blubbering at an award ceremony, the subject isn’t dwelled upon. Oh, by the way, Coach Campo? I can name about 20 guys I’d rather see break the record before Emmitt Smith. Since when did Emmitt “I’m Gonna Take My Helmet Off Now, So You Can All Adore Me” Smith gain a reputation as a class guy? He’s cocky, over-rated and a complete tool and always has been.

Also glossed over was the Roy Williams story. Has anybody ever been happier to be a Cryboy? They spent a few minutes replaying Draft Day and then spent some time with Roy just chillin’, but apparently he won’t be a main storyline.

Leah Lyons, however; will be. Leah’s fondest dream has always been to be a Dallas Cryboys cheerleader. And when she made it and tried on her uniform fort he first time, she felt so patriotic, blah, blah, blah. From what I can see from the promos for ESPN’s “The Season: Making the Raiderettes”, the Northern California girls have got it all over Dallas’ squad. However, if they keep showing that Ilse Koch-wannabe calling the girls fat and sorry, this could be the storyline to watch. Comedy gold!

Two guys getting plenty of screen time are roommates Chad Hutchinson and Richmond Flowers. Hutchinson, as you know, is the criminally overpaid rookie QB that’s been floundering in the St. Louis Co-ardinals farm system the past 4 years. Flowers is a Wayne Chrebet-wannabe that fancies himself something of a singer. Easily the funniest segment of the night is Hutchinson wrestling with an acoustic guitar while Flowers yowls like a man being disemboweled with a dull knife. If I hadn’t managed to catch a few of the (misquoted, by the way) lyrics, there’s not a chance in hell that I’d have guessed that was Pearl Jam’s “Black” that those two were mangling. To make matters worse, we’re informed that they go out and assault innocent people in karaoke bars with that bilge. These two seem honestly unaware at how horribly they suck. And HBO’s playin’ right along.

As far as I can tell, the final two story lines will revolve around third year WR Randal Williams and rookie WR Deveren Johnson. They’re rooming together and they’re both longshots from small schools (New Hampshire and Sacred Heart, respectively). Johnson is the Cryboys version of Rashod Kent in that he’s actually a basketball player. Williams is the kid from the mean streets of the Bronx looking to make good. These could be the two seriously interesting stories out of Dallas’ camp. The smart money says these two haven’t got a snowball’s chance to make the team as they’re FAR too clean cut.

The following are some general observations from last night:

It’s so unbelievably obvious that the Cryboys move to San Antonio is an effort to maintain dwindling fan support. If you didn’t know any better, you’d swear they were the San Antonio Cowboys what with the pep rally and all the branding. The result is a circus atmosphere in which coaches are battling to be heard over the Alamodome’s PA blasting music and trying to keep their inane mascot, Rowdy, out from under foot. Further, they’ve eschewed their sweltering parking lot practice field for the comfy temperature controlled luxury of the Alamodome. I can’t wait to see those sucks wilt in the heat come September.

HBO’s “highlight package” of Hutchinson consists of one HORRIBLY underthrown pass at Stanford that results in a TD only because his receiver made a beautiful adjustment and came back to the ball and an absolute laser shot hit off him at Busch Stadium. Less than impressive, to say the least.

Remember when I said that appointing Cryboys Special Teams coach, Joe Avezzano, to the head coaching position with Dallas’ pretend football league team was a bad idea? Nothing like vindication. Somehow, the Desperado’s 7 and 7 record was enough to get them into the playoffs. So, Avezzano is currently flying back and forth between Dallas and San Antonio on a daily basis. And he looks reeeeeeeal happy about it, too. To say that Joe Avezzano is wound a little tight is an understatement. The man’s on the verge of a seizure with every bad call of the Desperado’s first playoff game (which they actually win). Joe, Joe, Joe, buddy! It’s ARENA FREAKIN’ FOOTBALL! It’s just not worth it.

While the Randal Williams story could shape up to be a good one (kid from the Bronx makes good), his mother might just be a pure-d psycho. After she informs us that she “don’t play”, she says that she got Randal into sports to keep him away from the womens and because she thought he might be gay? Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! You thought he might be gay?! What?! What is THAT all about?! And if you’re Williams, how do you like mom sharing that nugget?

How does Bruce Coslet keep finding work in the NFL? I mean, really.

Finally, Sam Clemons is one of approximately 23 talentless quarterbacks in camp. He looks like he’s about 5′ 10″ and might weigh a buck sixty soaking wet. He knows they have to cut the roster down to 91 and that there are 92 guys in camp. Somehow, he still manages to look surprised when he gets the ax. Now, that’s talent.

All in all, a good watch. I’ll be back, but I’m gonna wait for the rebroadcasts. It ends at midnight here on the East Coast. Forget that every week. As far as what the future holds for the 2002 Cryboys, I’d say they’re looking at a 7-9 record and another missed post season. No story there.

Dave Sabo would just like to remind you that he’s not even supposed to BE here today!! Jerry Jones Jerry Jones Return to Houston Pro Football If you have a question, comment or suggestion, contact Dave Catch up on past installments of The Armchair Quarterback