If Cowboys fans are being honest with themselves, Dallas is the exact team Payton is described here. Functional ownership and front office… welp. The Jones family enjoys being in the spotlight and being the fact of the franchise where other ownership groups prefer to just make their money in the background. While Will McClay (director of player personnel) has done an excellent job navigating the draft, the Cowboys have only sparingly used the other two tools of talent acquisition (free agency and the trade market).
The most important takeaway though is what Payton said next:
“regardless of what takes place, they can win on Sunday but they have trouble winning long term.”
That’s Dallas, ladies and gentlemen.
Dallas hasn’t made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons since right after Payton left, in 2006 and 2007. That was under two different head coaches; the final season of Parcells and the first season under Wade Phillips.
Since 2007 they’ve made the playoffs in five seasons and missed out entirely in nine seasons. They’ve never won more than a single playoff game in any of those years.
“The opportunity to win consistently and the willingness to build the correct culture and all those things.”
The culture in Dallas is defined by the Joneses. It’s a culture where the owner will publicly fawn over the possibility of a quarterback controversy should his backup perform well, when saying less would suffice. Jerry Jones couldn’t seemingly let the reigns go for more than a few years when Parcells had a my-way-or-highway approach and it would be foolish to think that Payton is unaware of those issues.
So when he says things as he did in this interview, it doesn’t have to mean he was speaking directly about the Cowboys; but it also doesn’t mean they don’t fit the description.