Friday, February 09, 2007

Jones, Davis cross-franchise power struggle intensifies

The Cowboys' recent hiring of head coach Wade Phillips has drawn ire from the Raiders' notoriously controlling owner Al Davis, who is upset he was not allowed to have input in Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' coaching search. Jones, also well-known for his organizational power struggles, reportedly still harbors resentment toward Davis for not consulting him before the Raiders hired Lane Kiffin from USC as their head coach in January.

Despite numerous on-record power struggles and a substantial backlog of coaches with short lifespans, Jones has downplayed the recent allegations that he is currently in a power struggle with Davis, saying "It's ludicrous... we're owners of two completely different teams, how could we be in a power struggle? All I'm saying is, you look at the Raiders the last few years, the guy could probably use my advice. It's not like I'm asking to call the plays or anything."

Davis' retort was not as diplomatic.

"The guy is nuts for hiring Wade Phillips," said Davis, "that fatass doesn't believe in basing your entire franchise on drafting defensivebacks in the first two rounds every year. And neither does Jerry Jones. They're both wrong, and I figured, as the owner of the Raiders, I have every right to make sure the Cowboys are headed in the direction that I see fit."

The Dallas Morning news is reporting that while Jones and Davis have always resented one another for trying to out-control each other, the personal rivalry between the two intensified after Bill Parcells' retirement, leaving Jones without a power struggle partner.

Neither owner has given any indication that the feud will end anytime soon.

Jones added, "If that puppet coach from USC doesn't coach the Raiders exactly how I want them to be coached, his job may be in jeopardy. Yes, I know he just got hired. Yes, I know I don't have the authority to fire the Raiders coach. Are there any more questions? No? I'm done."

Fellow owner Daniel Snyder of the Washington Redskins was unamused to learn of the Jones/Davis cross-team power struggle.

"I'm giving them thirty days to bury the hatchet," Snyder said. "When that's up, if they're still fighting, I'm buying both franchises and putting Norv Turner in charge of both."

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