Jeffrey Lurie Ranks as the NFL's Second Best Owner

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

How would you rank the man in charge?

Taking a brief break from our extensive 2014 NFL draft coverage, let's look at an article I saw on Rotoworld. Patrick Daugherty created a list ranking every NFL owner. Philadelphia Eagles Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Lurie ranked higher than any other owner not named Robert Kraft (New England Patriots). Here's the write-up:

You know the Philly-fan stereotype. These are battery whippin’, Santa Claus booin’ hooligans. Win, or else. The truth is far less sinister, of course. Yes, Philly fans have had their share of regrettable incidents, but name a major American city without regrettable fan incidents, and you’re naming a major American city that doesn’t exist. Philly phanatics are not the boogeymen years of confirmation bias have made them out to be. All that being said, Philly is a tough place to play. One of America’s oldest and most populous cities, it has won just two world titles since Ronald Reagan was first elected president, neither of which came from the Eagles. These are proud people hungering for trophies.

It is in this climate that Lurie has displayed remarkable patience, sticking with Andy Reid through thick and thin, and sticking with his most recent coaching search until he got the man he wanted. That man, Chip Kelly, could easily prove to be the league’s next Belichick. Lurie may not have a Super Bowl to show for his patience and home-run hires, but playing under the microscope of the fishbowl NFC East, he does have seven division titles in the past 13 seasons. Even in a knee-jerk environment like the NFL, good things come to those who wait. Sooner or later, Lurie will get his title, and it will be deserved.

(That last line doesn't sound too bad.)

As revealed in a recent Football Perspective post, the 2000s Eagles were one of the best teams to never win a championship. Winning a championship requires a little luck (or maybe a lot if you consider the New York Giants) and the Eagles just haven't had that type of good fortune yet. What is in the Eagles control is their decision-making process. It's that type of process which has been successful at the macro-level. What makes Lurie a great owner is that he only seems to involve himself in the major decisions (coaching hires, etc.) while trusting his subordinates (Chip Kelly, Howie Roseman) to do their jobs. A contrast of this style would be owners who often get too involved. Look no further than some other NFC East team owners to see what I mean.

21) Jerry Jones

If the sole criteria for this list were printing money, Jones would be without equal. The Cowboys were already America’s Team when Jones came aboard in 1989, but it was under ‘ol Jer that they became a worldwide behemoth worth north of $2 billion. Valley Ranch is practically a mint, while Jones has turned the Cowboys into an iconic American brand on par with Coca Cola and Chevrolet. If only he could get out of his own way on the football side of things. It’s not just Jones’ flair for making money that sets him apart from the other men on this list, but his insistence on serving as his own general manager. Truth be told, Jones has been a better GM than given credit for. Widely perceived as a disaster, Jones have nevertheless overseen nine .500 or better campaigns over the past 11 seasons. The problem is, .500 seasons aren’t the benchmark in Dallas — championships are. And Jones is getting worse, growing more incoherent on draft weekend while habitually overpaying his own players. If Jones were the general manager of any other team, he would have been fired long ago. But since he won’t fire himself, he’s dooming the league’s preeminent franchise to T-shirt sale championships instead of football ones.

Perfect. And now for Dan Snyder, who ranked dead last.

Every NFL team has a Wikipedia page. They are quite long, and partitioned by era. Say "1992-2007: The Brett Favre era" for the Packers, or "1979–1988: Fouts and Air Coryell" for the Chargers. For the Redskins, the Snyder years get a drab "Daniel Snyder ownership (1999–present)." Anyone, fan or otherwise, who’s followed Snyder’s reign of error and terror knows that doesn’t do it justice. The Snyder era would be more accurately termed as "The Insult Years: 1999-present." Aside from losing, insult has been the one recurring theme of Snyder’s ownership. He insults his fans’ intelligence by embarking on misguided rebuild after misguided rebuilt. He insults their pocketbooks by making them pay for things like parking even when they walk to the stadium. He insults Native Americans by refusing to change his team’s offensive and antiquated nickname. He insults us all by pretending his ownership is about anything than his own ego gratification. In 15 years on the job, Snyder hasn’t built a football team, but an edifice to ignorance. A study in how little regard an owner must pay his fans in sports’ gilded age. A hollowed-out shell of what used to be one of the NFL’s proudest franchises. Snyder has never won a thing, but we know at least one win is coming. That’s because the day Snyder finally sells his team will go down as the biggest victory in Redskins history.

No matter how you feel about Lurie, just remember there is always worse out there. A lot worse.

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