I have been critical of Jim Crane’s leadership since he fired James Click after the 2022 World Series, and my criticisms were legitimate and warranted. It was wrong for him to side with Baker, a manager who would retire the following year, over one of the best GMs in the game. He has also made many moves since then that, even at the time, appeared to lack the analytical rigor that we have come to expect as fans. However, we have a lot to be thankful for, especially after watching Jerry Jones’s Cowboys get trounced by the Packers last week.
I am 27 years old, and I was in my mother’s womb the last time the Cowboys made it to an NFC Championship game. To put that in perspective, here are some things that were going on in the world the last time the Cowboys were in a Championship game:
-Alanis Morrisette was a top 40 artist, and her album “Jagged little pill” was a billboard hit.
-Bob Dole hadn’t clinched the GOP nomination
-Google did not exist
-The Texans were not a franchise yet.
Even more jarring is that the Astros have appeared in two NLCS since the Cowboys appeared in their last NFC championship game, and the Stros’ have been in the American league for over a decade.
Although not all of Dallas’s woes are on Jerry, he is the GM and owner, so most of the blame goes to him. After winning two Super Bowls under Jimmy Johnson, Jones decided to fire his first coach. Although they managed to win another championship in 1996, with the team Johnson put together, the Cowboys have only won four playoff games since then.
I have written extensively about some of the similarities between Jones and Crane, namely that Crane is starting to interfere in baseball operations, much like Jones has done with his team. However, we, as Astros fans, owe Crane a big thank you for building such a successful team; some fanbases would kill to have a season like the Astros had in 2023, a year many fans saw as a failed season. The Cowboys' experience should also serve as a warning to Jim Crane: just because you are successful and innovative in one decade does not guarantee future success.
Cheers to the Astros!