During the 2012 NFL awards show the night before Super Bowl XLVI, actor Alec Baldwin said “the Dallas Cowboys are always Super Bowl contenders, just ask them.” Truer words were never spoken and that’s a problem for America’s Team.
First, the Cowboys are not a mentally tough team, so the pressure of an owner like Jerry Jones constantly insisting his team is ready to contend for a Super Bowl is not a good thing. Any distraction, no matter how severe, puts the team at a big disadvantage on the football field.
It was recently stated here at RantSports.com that a low spot for the Cowboys in NFL power rankings is a good thing. That puts less pressure on the team and thus doesn’t exploit Dallas’ lack of mental toughness. However, the Cowboys came in at No. 14 in Rant Sports’ off-season edition of the NFL power rankings, which is too high for Dallas to be comfortable heading into the 2012 season.
For starters, the Cowboys are ranked above the Cincinnati Bengals, a 2011 playoff team with a rookie quarterback that will undoubtedly be even better in 2012. Judging by the past two seasons alone, the Cowboys should be somewhere around No. 20, but the NFL columnists at Rant Sports know Dallas improved its secondary this off-season by cutting Terence Newman, signing free agent Brandon Carr and drafting Morris Claiborne. However, that alone won’t make the Cowboys Super Bowl contenders.
Judging by the Cowboys’ potential, No. 14 is about right as far as off-season predictions go. However, potential is only important if it’s reached and Dallas hasn’t come close to doing that since 2007, but then crumbled on the biggest stage. Until that changes, the No. 14 ranking is too high.