It’s okay to chuckle at the thought of the Dallas Cowboys reaching the Super Bowl as presently constructed. However, they are putting together a solid foundation for a bright future. If they stick to their current plan and develop their talent instead of buying it, then they may be the ones laughing last.
Jerry Jones has always been the owner who wheels and deals while trying to draw attention to his franchise. That has often landed him in hot water in years past.
For example, Jones brought in Eddie George who, at the time, was far past his prime. By the time he was a Cowboy he could hardly fall forward for a two-yard gain. Then Jones overpaid for a kicker Mike Vanderjagt, who was the most accurate kicker in NFL history. His struggles were evident in training camp and never got any better. He went 13-for-18 on field goal attempts and was released after ten games.
Sustained success comes from developing your own talent through the draft and plugging small holes with veteran free agents. This prototype was administered by franchises like the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens for years. More recently the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers have built themselves up from the basement of the league with a similar plan.
The Cowboys have recently found themselves digging in the clearance bin. It has brought them surprising players like George Selvie, Terrell McClain and Jeremy Mincey. They even constructed limited-risk contracts for Anthony Spencer and Henry Melton to put together a revamped defensive line.
They have hit on several draft picks with DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant, Travis Frederick and Tyron Smith. They also have young players ready to make an impact with Demarcus Lawrence, Zack Martin, Anthony Hitchens, Kyle Wilber and DeVonte Holloman.
The development of these young players under brilliant coaching minds like Scott Linehan, and Rod Marinelli will get the Cowboys where they want to be. It will also allow them to be in outstanding cap shape for the future.
They currently have around $8.5 million in cap space which is good for fifth most in the league. Not spending it right away will allow them to break away from the dead money they have in upcoming years. It will also allow them to keep star players in house with new deals.
Nobody truly believes in the Cowboys at this point because they are a roster full of unknowns. With some time, coaching and development, this team could be a Super Bowl contender in the near future. Jones must stick to his guns if he wants to get back to his glory days.