The Tale of Two Cities

The marriage goes back over 45 years, and even though the two franchises parted ways back in the early 1960's, its recent history that links these two bedrock organizations together again.

For the entity that remained in Dallas under the guise of Owner Clint Murchison, Jr., the recent history is more about what isn't changing as opposed to the franchise leaving Dallas for the likes of Kansas City. While the Cowboys have changed ownerships several times in its history, the Kansas City Chiefs have always been linked to the Hunt family, and in 2009 the Hunt family is seeking change.

Major change.

Even though they have one Super Bowl title to their credit, the Chiefs have always sort of lingered in the NFL landscape. Lingered does not infer the franchise has not been competitive. They've made runs, and they've had their share of NFL superstars donning the very recognizable, red, white and gold. There has always been "something" about the Chiefs which has caught your scribe's eye. When pressed about the "something," it's so hard to put a finger or specifics on it, but like the franchise, it has always lingered out there. Whatever the fascination, it's now starting to come clearly into focus.

Don't look now, but the Kansas City Chiefs are in the midst of a major overhaul, and the "youth" movement is about ready to put a stamp unlike any other on this historic franchise. Before we venture much further, let's clarify why an apparent Kansas City Chiefs piece is appearing in a Dallas Cowboys publication. To be quite simplistic, let's go with envy and admiration. Stop down just a second to analyze this for a minute or two. If you happened to be a supporter of both franchises, which fan base probably possesses the most excitement and optimistic hope for the future? OK, for all those who said the Cowboys, then you're just loyal beyond reasoning and common sense, and that's OK. Lord knows the Cowboys need all the fanatics they can keep!

Remember, the question wasn't what team is better positioned to make a run at the Lombardi Trophy. In this respect, the Chiefs have a ways to go and a roster which must undergo some delicate surgical procedures. Overall, they're a pretty young team, but key decisions are needed as it pertains to veteran personnel and leadership. Certainly not all, but two clear examples are RB Larry Johnson and all-everything TE Tony Gonzalez. These two present very tricky assessments, but the Chiefs have certainly hired the right guy to address the pending needs.

Carl Peterson was a mainstay with the Kansas City Chiefs for 20 years and leaves behind a tremendous and impactful legacy. Peterson was a favorite of former team owner Lamar Hunt, and some would argue Hunt was so loyal to Peterson that he let the tenure outrun its shelf life. Lamar Hunt's death signaled change throughout the organization.

Respecting both the historical and loyalty ties to Peterson, new owner Clark Hunt allowed Peterson to remain, but he clearly had his sights set on change. Ladies and gentlemen, Clark Hunt is but 44 years of age. Yes, the family has been around football for what could be viewed as forever, but Clark Hunt is a mere rookie amongst the NFL brass. When you lack experience or knowledge, what do you do? Indeed, you hire it. If surveying the NFL landscape and you wanted to place your historic franchise in the hands of a NFL architect, who would you turn to?

Here's where we pull the Cowboys back into the equation. In order to do so and make the comparison sought, we must remove one of Jerry Jones' titles. We've been extracting the GM role for the past three articles, so we're making a change this time around. This time we're yanking the title of Dallas Cowboys Owner. He keeps all the other monikers, and you're Clark Hunt. Do you hire Jerry Jones to revamp and run your football operation? Didn't think so. The answer clearly is, "No, you do not." So much so that Jerry would slide pretty doggone far down the consideration list.

Clark Hunt under the advice of whom is not known, but whoever it was should be bronzed, turns to and selects Patriots' architect and mastermind Scott Pioli to run the Arrowhead show. How does that selection sit with you? Any arguments on tutelage, knowledge and success? As a sidebar, how would you feel about Scott Pioli running the show out at Valley Ranch? Thought so. Cowboys' fans, we could only be so lucky. The franchise's football operation actually in the hands of a football guy? Lord, bless us all. We'd all be singing "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."

Scott Pioli? Great question. He's only 43 and won't match his owner's age until next month. Let's revisit this for a second. The ownership and football operations of one of the most prized organizations in the NFL are in the hands for two guys in their mid-40's? You're kidding, right? How could this be? Each of them just started shaving, and they think they're going to compete for championship hardware? In case you weren't aware, that Pioli guy, he was in his late 30's when he collected his first Super Bowl ring, and for good measure, he followed that up with two more titles as he approached the 40's. Wow. Hey Clark, we all know about the old man, but have you always been this bright?

Well, certainly the two, young brain trusts are bright enough to bring a little sage wisdom and hardened tenure into the organization to round out the decision-makers, right? With Pioli handing Head Coach Herm Edwards his pink slip, a call had to be put into Arrowhead vet Marty Shottemheimer to help solidify and counter balance the whiz-kids, right? No? Not even an inquiry? Cowher? Any graybeards? No, this Pioli guy just sits back and waits for the Super Bowl to conclude so he can go get "his guy." So, what old codger does Pioli land? To obtain that sage wisdom he plucks and selects Arizona's Offensive Coordinator, Todd Haley. Man, that name sounds very familiar, but before we revisit history, Todd Haley is all of 41 years old, not turning 42 until a few weeks from now.

Hey, Cowboys' Nation, do you see where this is going? Three years of age separates the owner, general manager and head coach, and the best part? They're not the same guy!

The Cowboys' spouted and clamored "change" from the moment the debacle in Philadelphia brought the 2008 season to a mighty thud. Released Pacman. Fired Brian Stewart. Hired Joe DeCamillis. Flirted with Dan Reeves. Genius. This is mere child's play compared to what the Chiefs just put in place. Oh, and to make matters even more enticing, Kansas City possesses the third overall pick in April's Draft. Giving Scott Pioli the third overall pick is virtually criminal negligence. Remind me again, where are the Cowboys batting in Round One? Oh, that's right; they don't have a first round pick this year. Dealt it to Detroit for the highly-impactful WR, Roy Williams. Brilliant.

Well, what started as a combined city venture way back when has certainly approached a major fork in the road. Each organization has decided to take a different prong, and it will be most interesting to watch which path was the right avenue to travel. Jerry, the next time you indicate there will be "change," leave the cap gun at home and break out the heavy artillery. Just for the record, did you really want and pursue an "hours worked" stipulation clause in Dan Reeves' contract? Jerry, Dan Reeves isn't a minor we're afraid won't show for his shift on the fast food griddle. The man is a tenured, proven commodity, and to make matters worse, he's organizational blood. How demeaning could you be? What's next? Leaving the Tom Landry statue behind in the move to Arlington? Jerry, knock knock...

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