There's nothing worse in team sports than a fractured locker room. It's like having a sports car with a busted engine. It might look nice and fast from the outside but in reality it's nothing more than a useless pile of parts that will never run.
That's what the Dallas Cowboys have been since Terrell Owens arrived three years ago. To be fair, the Cowboys were bad before he arrived (they haven't won a playoff game 13 years) but Owens' signing, along with others such as Pacman Jones and Tank Johnson were like a fresh coat of paint and a new set of tires on a lemon that needed to be overhauled, not touched up.
As successful as Jerry Jones has been as a businessman, it's amazing how enamored he is of "star players" who have more style than substance and more suspensions than accolades. He's like a groupie who wants to be around as many rock stars as possible.
He's the original Daniel Snyder, assembling fantasy football teams and expecting them to work because, well, they would in his fantasy world. That's not how it works in the NFL and as long as Jones is making personnel decisions his team will be in a constant state of rebuilding.
That doesn't mean Jones is a bad owner. In fact, he's one of the best owners in sports, willing to spend endless amounts in order to improve his team. That, however, doesn't make him a good general manager. If they weren't the same person, it's safe to say Jones (the owner) would have fired Jones (the general manager) a long time ago.
Jones should be smart enough to stick to what he does best and put others in position to help him and his team succeed. When he wanted to build a new billion-dollar stadium, he sought the best architects, engineers and contractors to make his dream a reality. It didn't mean he was any less involved because he didn't draw up the blue prints himself or lay the foundation with his own hands. He should understand the same would be true if he sought the best general manager and player personnel director to rebuild the Cowboys.
While Jones was basically forced to part ways with Pacman and will likely do the same with Tank, I would be surprised if he cut ties with Owens, who is probably the biggest cancer in the Cowboys' locker room. While some in the organization, including his son Stephen, the current director of player personnel, reportedly want Jones to release Owens and move on, I simply can't see Jones letting go of a big-name player. Even when they are dividing his locker room and on the downside of their careers, Jones, like a star-struck fan who can't let go of the past, insists on having marquee players on his team.
It may be T.O. now, it may have been Pacman and Tank before, but as long as Jones is in charge of player personnel, it will never end. He will always swoop up the next baggage-laden big-name player, believing that simply putting that blue star on his helmet will fix everything. As we've found out for the past 13 years, he will always be wrong.