The Dallas Cowboys are a team in desperate need to win now. If you’re a Rant Sports regular, then you know that’s often been preached here. Well, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones finally admitted that on Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings in Atlanta, Ga.
“Well, my window is getting shorter. Time goes by,” Jones said. “I do feel real pressure because we do have players not only in Tony Romo, but Jason Witten, 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.”
Indeed, the Cowboys’ core stars are in the absolute prime of their careers, which means a decline is next for each of them. We’re not talking about just one or two good years left, but that will be the case if Dallas wastes any time trying to get back to the Super Bowl.
It can be argued all day long, but the reality is the Cowboys’ chance to win a Super Bowl with Romo at quarterback is nearly gone. Romo just turned 32, which means he has five solid years left, at best. That’s if everything goes well for the next half-decade and he doesn’t suffer another season-ending injury.
It took Jones a while, but he finally understood that this off-season when he cut under-achievers like Terence Newman and brought in high-profile free agents, such as Brandon Carr and Lawrence Vickers, who drastically improve the Cowboys’ roster. Then Jones made a big splash in the 2012 NFL Draft by trading up to the No. 6 overall pick to take Morris Claiborne. Either he had a late epiphany or someone grabbed him by the shirt collar, but one way or another Jones now understands the importance of time regarding his team.
“Jason Garrett feels exactly the same way about it and understands how urgent it is,” Jones said. “Candidly, you’re looking through rose-colored glasses if we all don’t realize that now is the time to compete on the field.”
While the Cowboys have tied a franchise-best 13 regular season wins during the Romo era, a majority of Dallas’ seasons have been defined by the .500 mark. If the Cowboys had knocked off the New York Giants in last year’s regular season finale, Dallas would have finished one game above .500, New York would have finished 8-8 and a different team would have won the Super Bowl. After watching that, Jones realizes the significance of each and every game.
“When we see a team like the Giants come back with nine [regular] season wins and be world champion, then we know it’s there for most clubs,” Jones said. “That’s not taking anything away from the Giants. That’s just inspiring the Cowboys a little bit.”
While Coach Garrett and players like Romo have preached accountability to this generation of Cowboys, neither have practiced those sermons. However, Jones has never lost faith in either one of them, but instead constantly praises them and urges Cowboys Nation to do the same.
“We have experienced at least a couple of the most disappointing seasons that I’ve ever had because we had great play from Tony and we still didn’t get it done,” Jones said. “What we’ve got to do is, while we’ve still got him on the job, we’ve got to come with the rest of it and position us to better compete for a Super Bowl. I have a lot of confidence in Tony.”
As mentioned, Romo isn’t the only key player who’s on the wrong side of 30, but the Cowboys are a finesse team that relies on lots of offensive points scored. Without guys like Romo and Witten playing at a high level each and every week, Dallas has no shot.
Taking into account these players are at least preaching the urgency to win now and the Cowboys’ key off-season additions, “the time is now” for the Cowboys, to coin a phrase. However, as has been the case in recent years, Dallas can talk a good game, but can it match that high level of talk on the field? Only time will tell. Where’s Jimmy Johnson when you need him?