Pop Quiz 101

We all live in abject obscurity when comparing our lives to people in the news. Our decisions, wins and losses, home runs and errors aren't front-page fodder on a daily basis. We are lucky beyond words. Yet we also aren't in the limelight selling a product that requires a buying public to make a financial commitment. And herein lies the difference between you, me, and Jerry Jones.

Monday's mild earthquake, which benched Quincy Carter allowing the inexperienced Chad Hutchinson to take the reigns, has sent shockwaves throughout the Metroplex. People are shaking their heads and wondering what has Jerry gone and done now. Newspapers and radio shows are suggesting he has finally justified a rubber room and a straight jacket with this latest move.

But what is obviously a perception of the goings on at Valley Ranch is not actually reality.

The team has expressed this is a move about wins and losses. Anyone that believes this might wish to hand their money over to an investment counselor because they are the person P.T.Barnum was speaking about when he said, ‘There's a sucker born every minute.' It's only a matter of time before you're broke and scratching your head in amazement.

This move is about the 2003 draft and nothing more. Jerry and company have exactly 9 games to decide what Chad Hutchinson has in the tank. Can he be a big time quarterback in this league? Or do they need to don their best shopping togs and head to the draft in April of 2003 ready to move up, down, or sideways and find the next starting quarterback for the team.

This type of huckster-ese started when Jerry Jones adamantly ignored the problem with no true wide receiver other than Michael Irvin. For several seasons Jerry looked the other way about bringing in a competent second fiddle to Irvin's virtuoso. The results were double teams and a reduced success in the passing game. That filtered down to the running game and Dallas, a once formidable offensive team, was reduced to three and outs most of the time.

Jerry sent out for the hired gun in Raghib Ismail. He got the results he looked for in the first three games of 1999. He had at least one 100-yard receiver in each contest and in one game both Irvin and Ismail posted a century mark. Yet Irvin went down to injury. And if anything underscored the futility of having only one quality receiver, it was the struggles Rocket faced each Sunday as he tried to be the passing game for the Cowboys.

Hence the Joey Galloway deal that cost the team two number one draft choices. Jones learned the hard way the lesson he is now trying to implement.

Jerry brought in Quincy but remembered the sting of Irvin's injury and how it affected the team. He hedged his bet and offered Chad a pocketful of rainbows, along with a nice bank account, to be the back up for number 17.

Jerry had wised up that he needed some protection if Quincy were injured or worse, couldn't perform due to lack of talent.

Again Jerry makes a comment and the press runs with it. This is a move about wins, he says. He also said the Cowboys would win ten games in 2001. A comment that was taken out of context and still to this day is as misunderstood as the reasons why Rosie O'Donnell would convince anyone she deserved a talk show.

Jerry, the P.T. Barnum of the NFL was hosting Pick-a-Ticket night at Texas Stadium. With the hopes of selling out a few season seats he simply stated something that would inspire his customer to buy. They do it everyday in the used car business. ‘This little baby was driven only on Sunday's by a little old lady. She kept it in the garage the rest of the week.'

Jerry stated this is about wins. This is purely about evaluating Chad and seeing if he can respond to the pressures of the toughest position in pro ball. How will he fade the blitz? How will he hit the receivers? Can he win? Does he pack the goods?

The booby prize at the end of this training period is either a quarterback that will take over as the leader of the team, or a draft slot, which will allow the team some latitude in moving up to get someone that can lead the team.

Jerry knows double-speak and how to use it. He commented he would have taken Quincy over Drew Brees after the 2001 draft. If he had that dilemma to face. Yet you don't dog your newest draft choice with comments coveting another player that you didn't get a shot to draft. He would have taken Brees to the bank and Quincy would have waited for the next train to the bench.

Jerry's latest gambit is to attempt to maintain interest in a team that will field a quarterback with no experience in the last 4 years and some odd months of football. He will keep the dogs of the press at bay and fade the heat Chad will take by making himself be the focal point of this latest edition of ‘All My Cowboys.'

Yet the real reason behind this is evaluation. To find out answers to the burning questions about the Man from Stanford. Because it has been proven time and again that Jones is not at his best when the quality in the draft is far above his reach.

So Chad will have a healthy dose of linebackers and Bruce Coslet. He will either complete the passes to wide open receivers or he will find his way to the same bench where Quincy now resides.

Jerry stated factually he is on a quest to find the next franchise quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. His words are true. He will leave no stone unturned.

And the prospect of a Quincy Carter winning enough games the rest of this season to make this decision for Jerry is absolutely laughable. Jerry needs to see Chad play. Because the draft is only six months away and he has but 9 opportunities to find out what Chad can do.

Jerry will stand center stage, Klieg lights shining down on his restructured face. Restructured like an Aikman contract. And he will take the slings and arrows and complaints and barbs by the press and fans alike.

But make no mistake, Jerry is handing out a pop quiz and the results will determine whom the Cowboys select in the first round next April. Quarterback or cornerback.

If you feel the way I do, then better him than me. I don't need the fishbowl life. I do just fine in obscurity.

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