Jerry Jones famously said that for the Cowboys “the window is closing.” However, Head Coach Jason Garrett and starting quarter back and franchise player Tony Romo disagree. They spin Jones’ words by saying there is a sense of urgency to win a Super Bowl, but that is nothing out of the norm for an NFL franchise basically stating that its standard operating procedure.
“It’s not closing,” Romo said after Wednesday’s organized team activity workout. “I think there’s a sense of urgency every year that you play, whether it’s your first year in the league or your 22nd. You never know when all that stuff is going to happen, so you just play every year as if it’s an urgent day. Forget about thinking about the end of the year or two months away. You’ve got to get better today. Whether you’re a rookie or an 11-year veteran around here, you’ve got to do that same approach.”
“It’s the same. If it increases, then you didn’t do what you needed to do when you were younger.”
That might be true but the pressure is definitely mounting. The franchise dubbed America’s Team has been nothing but a disappointment since winning three Super Bowls in the early to mid 90′s. They’ve only won 1 playoff game in that stretch. Some have even called into question whether the Cowboys, who have seemingly settled into mediocrity and the middle of the pack, can still hold the title “America’s Team.” To put it in perspective, since the Cowboys last won the Super Bowl the New England Patriots have played in 6 Super Bowls and won 3, which like the Cowboys came in a 4 year span.
But the Cowboys now have missed the playoffs two years in a row.
“Well, my window is getting shorter. Time goes by,” Jones told NFL Network at the NFL spring meetings Tuesday. “I do feel real pressure because we do have players not only in Tony Romo, but Jason Witten (and)DeMarcus Ware, to leave out several that are (also) in the prime of their career. And we need to strike and strike soon with those guys.
“Jason Garrett feels exactly the same way about it and understands how urgent it is. Candidly, you’re looking through rose-colored glasses if we all don’t realize that now is the time to compete on the field.”
Jason Garrett didn’t necessarily disagree with owner and team general manager Jerry Jones, but reiterated what Tony Romo had said about urgency.
“My experience in this league as a player and a coach has been that the best players and the best teams have a sense of urgency every single day in all that they do,” said Garrett, who is entering his second full season as the Cowboys’ head coach. “You can talk about an OTA in May or a minicamp or a walkthrough or meeting or early in training camp. Whatever they do, the best guys have urgency to them. The best guys have urgency to them.”
“So that’s been my experience. We’re always trying to create an urgent atmosphere around here regardless of who our players are, and that’s our approach.”
But whether it’s the proverbial window closing, the pressure settling squarely on Jones and crew’s shoulders or a sense of urgency, this offseason has been one of the most touted of the Dallas Cowboy’s recently. The Cowboys, known to bring in players with big names exiting their prime had a offseason that has amped up the level of excitement around DFW. Jones signed 7 free agents including stud cornerback Brandon Carr formerly of the Kansas City Chiefs. Carr is only 25 and already a 4 year veteran whom many believe is entering the prime of his career. Jones also signed Brodney Pool a safety who played with Rob Ryan in Cleveland and Rex Ryan in New York and knows the Ryans’ defensive system. Jones also addressed OL issues by signing a slew of interior lineman.
Most surprisingly is that Jones didn’t stop after a solid free agency period. Jones traded up from the 14th spot in the draft to the 6th and drafted the best defensive player in the draft, LSU corner back Morris Claiborne. Some, including myself, have gone as far to say that this could potentially be one of the best secondaries in the NFL. Especially when you take into account that the organization still has Mike Jenkins on the roster in a contract year.
One thing is for sure. Jones is getting restless but he made the right moves so far.