103.3FM ESPN Radio hosts discussed yesterday the great debate: who is our favorite DFW pro sports team owner? Tom Hicks is automatically disqualified for putting such a pathetic Rangers team out on the field year after year after year. The Stars won the Stanley Cup once upon a time. Big deal. At least they love him in Liverpool. Good for him.
But here in Dallas, Hicks is one of those people you love to ignore. Maybe that’s giving him too much credit. He’s just irrelevant to Dallas sports.
Which leaves the twin giants: Mark Cuban and Jerry Jones. Cuban gets credit for building one of the best teams in the NBA and a model franchise for other teams to emulate. He is widely celebrated for his fan-like attitude and love for the game. He treats his players and coaches well and isn’t stingy with the pocket book.
Jerry Jones gets credit for building the new Dallas Cowboys’ stadium in Arlington. This monolith will definitely set the bar for future stadiums. He also got the Super Bowl for 2011. With Tony Romo as a promising new quarterback and fresh blood in at the head coaching spot, everyone has every reason to be pro Jerry.
The downside to both owners is that they are too involved. Jerry is both owner and GM of the Cowboys. He has a reputation for being the man who chased the great Jimmy Johnson out of town, thus issuing in the decade of despair. Cuban sits on the sidelines, joins team huddles, and gets fined for arguing with the referees. His antics were arguably involved in the Mavericks’ championship loss to the Miami Heat in 2006.
As recently as March or April of 2006, Mark Cuban would have been a shoe-in for favorite DFW owner. The Mavericks were on a run for the title, and the Mavericks were the best ticket in town. Oh, how the winds have changed.
We haven’t given up on the Mavericks, per se. We’re just disillusioned by two horrible endings two years in a row. We have hope, but the expectation is lost.
Jerry’s Cowboys, on the other hand, are on the rise. They may not be championship material this year, but they’re awfully close. We could be cheering another Super Bowl victory in Dallas as soon as 2009.
Of course, everything falls apart if Romo doesn’t live up to expectations. But if he’s as good as we saw last year, we’re in for a treat. Jones needs to bite the bullet and give Romo a better contract w/signing bonus so he can lead the Cowboys without a chip on his shoulder. There’s nothing like an underpaid, undervalued, underappreciated employee.
With a disappointingly uneventful off-season thus far for the Mavericks, it’s doubtful whether Cuban has a shot at regaining the title of Owner Supreme any time soon.
Time will tell.