Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones admitted Tuesday that there are some high-priced contracts that, in retrospect, never should have been offered because it hindered the team's ability to win championships in the salary-cap era.
"We should have been knocking on the door and we haven't and I have no excuses, it starts here," Jones said during an appearance on 105.3 The Fan. "But we have not. I know that to the extent that we have a healthy (Tony) Romo, our best chance to get back to the Super Bowl is a healthy Romo."
To be clear, the Cowboys' last Super Bowl appearance came during the 1995 season. In the 18 years since, they've qualified for the postseason seven times. And quarterback Tony Romo, who was a sophomore in high school in '95, has a 1-3 postseason record.
Dallas finished 8-8 in each of the last three seasons, a Week 17 loss knocking them out of the playoffs every time. But from 2006 to 2009, the team made three postseason trips, although they never came close to returning to the Super Bowl. And that bothers Jones.
"Now for us not to having got it done during those years is a mess up," he said. "You got to get it when you're high like that. When you're high up on it. You can't miss your bus when you got your quarterback and you got good talent around him and if you miss that bus in the NFL. ...
"All of that boils down to management of a cap, management of certainly having players that deserve to get the money that you got," said Jones, whose Cowboys will be close to $20 million over the 2014 salary cap. "When I look back on it, we probably paid some people that we probably would have been better off not paying."
There's more: Jones still has no plans to relinquish his GM duties.
Jerry Jones said since he's been in the NFL he's been the only person to make a final decision regarding the team. Not changing.— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) February 25, 2014
Still, this isn't the first time we've heard Jones make this point. Here's what he said in November 2012 about the prospects that someone else would make personnel decisions.
“We are not structured that way. We didn't structure it that way with my ownership," he said at the time. "There's no way that I would be involved here and not be the final decision-maker on something as important as players, and that is a key area. That's never been anybody's misunderstanding.
"It's been a debated thing," Jones continued, "but it's just not going to happen. We've had success doing it this way, and we're going to have success in the future doing it this way. It eliminates some very serious issues when you look around the league, as to creating an additional layer that you're continually having decisions, making changes, doing those kinds of things."