“Credit”: Types, How to grade it and when to dole it out

We are basically at the halfway point of the season, and there’s no doubt, our Cowboys have performed surprisingly well. The entire organization deserves some credit for this 6-2 start (including JJ and SJ) but I believe there are types of “credit” to give (or not give) and an appropriate time to give it.

In my book, there are four types of credit to give the leaders of a pro football team based on performance. Below are the four areas and what grade I would give each based on recent and past performance. Some “credit” grades should wait until the end of the season but I issued them anyway.

  • 1. Stability and profitability– having stable ownership and cash flow. (Grade: A+. No owner in pro sports does profitability better than Jerry. And his “structure” will not change. This is certainly a stable franchise) Credit can be given now for sure.
  • 2. Talent acquisition– the ability to draft and develop talent as well as acquire appropriate free agents. Also includes hiring the right coaches. (Grade: B+. Credit to JJ for hiring and keeping Will McClay as the primary influence on drafting. McClay has proven to be great at identifying talent. We could be a little bolder with some free agents and JJ could be less risky in the 2nd round, lol. Hiring McCarthy was way better than the ten year roller coaster of Jason Garrett) Credit should be given at the end of each year when performance is complete.
  • 3. Culture– the attitude and commitment of the entire organization toward winning along with a mental and physical toughness. (Grade: C-. If we’re being honest, this team has been soft the last decade, especially in the playoffs when facing more physical teams. It’s been fairly good in the regular season) Credit should be given at the end of each year based on performance.
  • 4. On-field Performance– in two areas.
    • A. Regular season performance- over the last decade, we have played well in the regular season, only having 2 losing seasons, winning 4 divisional titles and making the playoffs 4 times. (Past Grade: B. The Cowboys have played well in the regular season overall) credit should be given at the end of each season.
    • B. Playoff performance- Since our last SB in the ‘95 season the Cowboys are 4-11 in the playoffs. The last decade, we are 2-4. (Past Grade: D. It’s been almost bizarre how well our regular season play has been only to fall flat most playoff games- is it culture?) Credit should be given at end of each season.

As I said at the beginning, most credit should be issued at the end of season when performances are judged against the context of a whole season. We’ve had an excellent first half considering the way this season started. But there’s a lot of football left to be played.

Here’s hoping we finally are able to give some credit for playoff performance!

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