The Dallas Cowboys are under the microscope during every NFL season; no matter how good or how bad, people are always talking about them. Their label as “America’s Team” and their flashy owner Jerry Jones have made them probably the most talked about franchise in the NFL, and arguably the most scrutinized and talked about in all of sports.
The Cowboys also always seem to have an abundance of talent. In the last 17 years, however, they have not been able to maximize it to win a Super Bowl, or even more than one playoff game.
This year is no different. They are one of the more talented teams in the league if you look at the skill positions, but they still need to get over that hump. Probably unbeknownst to many, is that for how much talent they have, and how many potential future stars they have, the time frame for them to win, and win it all, is shortening.
One may think about the team’s young talent and figure that with guys like Dez Bryant, Sean Lee, DeMarco Murray, Tyron Smith, Bruce Carter, Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr probably not even in their primes yet, that this team will contend for years to come, especially once those guys get into their prime years.
But when assessing this team’s window of opportunity for a Super Bowl, we have to look at the three cornerstones – Tony Romo, Jason Witten and DeMarcus Ware.
Romo is 33 years old, and Witten and Ware are 31. The Cowboys have no quarterback groomed behind Romo on the depth chart, and they don’t really need one right now. They do have tight ends behind Witten, but they also don’t have anyone behind Ware that can fill his all-time shoes.
Not to mention, all three of those names probably only have three or four years left of elite play, which is when they’ll need to make a serious championship run.
The team has a ton of talented young players, but I think people forget that Romo has been a starter since 2006 — when he was already 26 years old — and more than likely won’t play out all of the six years on his current contract.
Lawrence Taylor played 13 seasons, and started to decline in 1991 when he was 32 years old. His sack numbers dipped from 10.5 in 1990 to 6.0 in 1993, and he missed nine games over his final three seasons. With Ware at 31, you have to think about how many elite years he has left.
Witten has been a model of consistency throughout his career, but he too probably only has three or four elite years left.
It’s not that these Cowboys are desperate to win right now, but they probably would be best suited to get their playoff runs in while they can.
While their window is certainly not closed, it isn’t becoming any bigger either.
Jake Carapella is a Dallas Cowboys writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter @JKCSports1.