At the NFL owners meetings in Atlanta, Ga., Dallas Cowboys head honcho Jerry Jones said his team needs to win a Super Bowl before its championship window closes on the Tony Romo era. Naturally, Romo was then asked what he thought about the window and he gave his usual politically-correct answer.
“It’s not closing,” Romo said. “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.”
If you take some of that out of context, as many have done already, Romo appears to disagree with Jones. However, that’s not actually the case.
“Forget about thinking about the end of the year or two months away,” Romo said. “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.”
Now that’s more like it. Take that out of context and Romo completely agrees with Dallas’ owner. So, in short, Romo is saying the window never closes unless you’re working to win every day, which is what any franchise quarterback should say when asked such a question.
Likewise, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said his team prepares to win every day, despite Jones saying “Garrett feels exactly the same way about it and understand how urgent it is,” talking about the window.
“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,” Garrett said.
Finally, all the right answers. Jones saying the window is closing is true; the Cowboys’ core group of players needs to win now before age becomes a real factor. Romo saying the window isn’t closing is wrong, but he elaborated to say the Cowboys should play to win a title all the time, which is true. Garrett saying the best teams in football play with that “sense of urgency” all the time is definitely true and that’s the gist of this whole episode of Jerry Speak and Romo Talk.
The Cowboys don’t play with a sense of urgency…ever. The teams that have won Super Bowls recently did so because they had a killer instinct and they knew when to strike. Dallas plays finesse, wait-and-see football, which isn’t the philosophy of the franchise. Jimmy Johnson’s Super Bowl teams of the 1990s hit other teams in the mouth and truly believed they were going to win. Tom Landry’s Cowboys of the ‘70s and ‘80s played with that same we’re-going-to-win attitude and win they did.
The Cowboys’ championship window is at its peak now following the biggest free agent off-season in franchise history and a pretty solid 2012 NFL Draft. Age will make it start to close slowly each year for the next five until it snaps shut completely on Dallas’ core group of players. Garrett, Romo and Co. better stop talking about playing with a sense of urgency and starting doing it.