CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 06: Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys looks on from the sideline in the first half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 6, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Just know, I was the 1st to say this, Tony Romo should be the Cowboys’ New Head Coach. “Really?” some would ask….Yes!!!! Here’s why…

  1. Jerry Jones is and will ALWAYS be a ‘Hands’ on Captain of the Cowboys ship! Who better to ride the waves with Jerry off into the Sunset, other than his ‘non-biological’ favorite son?
  2. Tony ‘Nostradamus’ of Football has been on point with his analysis of play-by-play of all the games he’s foretold the past two seasons. Almost, without error.
  3. Romo still has a good grasp of the assistants that are under contract, equipment, trainers, and the entire Cowboys organization. Guess, what? He also has met and studied a great deal of teams from his current position, which he’s certainly obtained some intel.
  4. He already has a working relationship with Dak, Zeke, most of the OL. This well hail benefits because he knows overall what they’ve been taught as professionals. Heck, he’s probably showed them some things himself… Also, his understanding of the Defensive staff and personnel is a huge help.
  5. Romo knows the culture of the Cowboys and ingratiated into that culture.
  6. He’d keep Cowboy Nation happy. Although, I think they are already happy to know that Jason Garrett is more than likely off into the Sunset as coach! However, he could follow his father’s footsteps in the organization and have a strong role in Personnel. Which wouldn’t surprise me.
  7. More than likely he’d be a “Players” Coach, and would likely draw some free-agents that would be on board with this arrangement.
  8. He’d find a place on staff for Jason Witten and the gang would all be back together.
  9. He knows football, he’s likable, fits the current coaching trend, Cowboy Nation loves him, and most important…So does Jerry!

If one were to research the history of those that have achieved early success, one would find more often than not, long standing success typically doesn’t follow. Whether the success has been in music, sports, or business. Who’s heard back from the Knack, “My Sharona”? Or the Baha Men after “Who let the Dogs out”? Anyone remember the Dream Cast gaming system? How about Vanilla Ice “Ice Ice Baby”? Hence the conjuring of the term, “One Hit Wonder” is derived.

This by no means is limited to music…. Let’s look at Professional Sports! I hate to do this, but my guy Ickey Woods, with his contagious “Ickey Shuffle”! Some of my teammates in 1988 were wearing their Jeri Curls with a head band on (For publicly protecting my guys, I will not put you on blasts, but WE know who they are). How about Tyreke Evans? Anybody ever heard of him? How about Mr. Harvard himself? The man that made two nations insane at the same time, Jeremy “Lin Sanity” Lin! He did put two good back to back seasons together, but still early success. This list could go on and on and on. For the sake of time, and not to be too mundane, I will end the examples for now.

As a football coach, one of the things that I feared the most was early success, especially with a group of young guys or guys that had never really experienced winning. I can recall arriving in my first Head Coaching / Offensive Coordinator job in France. I was bringing a true “No Huddle” Offense, that I had previous success running in the US. In our first game playing a team from Vienna, that had their Import Players, Americans, and we didn’t have any. We savagely had knocked out ALL of their QB’s and scored on every offensive possession. Going into the 1st minute of the 3rd quarter, we had 71 points! My guys were excited, but I was petrified! The league had started christening me as a Football ‘Savant’. No matter how flattering it was, in the midst of that very game, which happened to be called, watching and listening to my team, I knew that we were in HUGE trouble!

Having to reel the guys in after 3 consecutive victories compiled the “Early Success” Syndrome. My coaches approach to practice had noticeably changed. My players began to find every excuse on why not to practice, especially considering our American players had yet to arrive. To my team, I became a lunatic. Basically, my reminding them, that we had not accomplished anything. My demands for more intense practices was insane to them. They were used to having .500 seasons at best and not dominating other teams to this point. We finally lost a game, against a team, that we should have beat, but due to a multitude of external things, that loss really didn’t impact the team the way it should have impacted them. There were some legit reasons for that loss.

THEN it HAPPENED! We beat a team that was considered the top team in Europe. Our team had lost 10 consecutive games to this team in their division over the course of 5 years. We were, for a lack of a better term, SCREWED! If anyone knows the story of Adam and Eve. The first sin wasn’t eating the forbidden fruit. It was actually PRIDE! Listen to me for a second…

According to the Bible in Genesis 3:1-4

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Once the press clippings, chat rooms, tv broadcast, and magazine articles started to appear, now all of the sudden Coach was trippin’. The discipline that they asked for, was now became annoying. I no longer knew what I was talking about. They could do it on their own. Man did we get it wrong!

This type of mindset happens often, especially in sports. You will often hear parents, coaches, and players talk about what a player did in Pop Warner or Freshman year. When I hear this, simultaneously, I also hear Ms. Jackson, singing “What have you done for me lately?”

In order to achieve lasting success, one cannot continue to hang their hat on past successes. We know Belicheck will never allow that to happen to the Patriots. One of my all time favorites, John Wooden, and his UCLA Bruins knew that the consistent commitment for excellence was the only way. JJ Watt continuously says he knows that he has to “Pay the Rent” everyday to be successful. Our responsibility as Coaches/Parents are to allow our athletes to “Be in the moment” after a victory or a loss, but then it is time to move on, learn, correct and work! Just because your kid has developed early and dominated in the past, doesn’t mean he will dominate in the future. That slow, chubby, still hasn’t reached puberty kid (team) across the way, is feeding their hunger for when it counts!

Nobody ever talks about the 1st ten meters in the 100m dash, legends are made at the completion of the race (career). The moment when we are satisfied with previous success, then one should remain in the spot, because that is were you could very well remain.

ARLINGTON, TX – SEPTEMBER 30: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys talks with owner Jerry Jones before the game against the Detroit Lions at AT&T Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

I’d like to start this conversation off with saying, that I am PRO players getting their money in the sport of football. Considering there aren’t any guaranteed contracts, short tenures, and the long lasting physical tolls athletes take.

With all this being said, I believe that the Dallas Cowboys have full control of this hold out. However, I understand why the timing of this holdout is important to Zeke. Zeke has heavy usage and is the center piece of the Cowboys offense. Heck for that case, their defense too. Zeke pounding keeps them, the Defense, fresh! Zeke also has been a weekend away from being suspended from day 1.

What is Zeke’s real trade value in today’s NFL Market? Who in the NFL at this point and time going to give him the type of money he will demand? His production is almost a doubled-edged sword. The NFL history of high usage backs and typical decline going into 4th year. Think of the likes of Larry Johnson, Arian Foster, and many others…I know that there are exemptions like Adrian Peterson and others, but here’s the difference…His off the field incidents! They are certainly an achilles tendon in his leverage for negotiations.

Considering such risks, knowing that you will have to pay Dak and Amari, a two year early demand by Zeke shouldn’t be the Cowboys priority. You remember those years at QB after Troy Aikman until finally getting Tony Romo? There’s a LONG laundry list of names, so many that you may not remember Quincy Carter, Randall Cunningham (aged Randall), Anthony Wright, Ryan Leaf, Clint Stoerner, Chad Hutchinson, Vinny Testeverde (aged), Drew Henson, Jon Kitna (aged), and a few others. The same could be said for finding a number one WR.

What the Cowboys have been able to do, they are able to find Running backs! Demarco Murry, Marion Barber, Julius Jones, Tashard Choice, Darren McFadden…So they know they can get backs that can put up numbers and carries behind their line. Dallas knows they have the upper hand. Zeke, I ain’t mad at ya for trying!

Getting Lean in 2018

2017 was quite the year for me. It was a year that had the highest highs and the lowest lows. I became a 1st time Father, was a Principal Actor on 5 National Advertisements, Attended one of the best Super Bowl’s ever, met some childhood heroes, met some new friends, reconnected with some old friends. On the flip side I had to experience the legal system for the first time ever in my life (which is not a Father friendly system), lost one of my mentors, saw some relationships come to a close, experience some all-time lows in business, saw financial loss like never before, witnessed the great division in our country, and saw the revelation of evil of some people’s hearts….Despite this it was still a year of learning and growth.

Which leads me into 2018. Isaiah 43:19 is the scripture that I am holding on to in 2018! The Prophet writes “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”

Most of the time when we are entering something new, it will require us to give up some old things, habits, thoughts and proximity to certain people (still love them from a distance). The old saying is you can not receive something if your hand is already full!