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News: Stephen Jones: We can compete for a championship

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by Risen Star, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    Lets be honest here... No matter what Stephen Jones would say, "Hey we're have high hopes of playing in the next Super Bow" OR "Hey, I think we have another year or two of struggles ahead" the same cast of characters would still chide and ridicule every word.
  2. Double Trouble

    Double Trouble Well-Known Member

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    And the same cast of characters would still be there groveling at his feet, yapping like anxious puppies, excusing the monumental stupidity of him and his father.
  3. Idgit

    Idgit Ice up, son. Ice up! Staff Member

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    The thing is, our roster right now is being built nicely. I can understand years of frustration taking their toll, but when the team's competitive, has a franchise QB, and has strung together successive offseasons where--I *think* we mostly all agree--we're adding quality players and depth to the roster overall....what's there to complain about with the job the organization's doing right now?

    All of this, as far as I can tell, stems from the bizarrely misguided notion that we should be allocating a lot more in terms of significant resources to the OG positions, of all things. Even the complaints about the RT play I understand and sympathize with, since it did hurt us last season and we didn't do anything with personnel to address it. But the OG stuff is, in my opinion, just silly. It's the easiest position on offense to cover up, and we've got young players there we like, and vets who--despite all the overreaction--played ok in both spots with the exception of Bernardeau's early struggles integrating in to the starting lineup after his surgery.

    Arguments like this would be more convincing, fyi, if what you were describing ever actually happened. I know it sounds more convincing in your head when you intentionally overstate what the other side is saying, but at some point, unless there's groveling, yapping, and excusing of monumental stupidity going on, people are just going to point out that you're debating an argument against an imaginary position.
  4. FLcowboy

    FLcowboy Hopeful this is the year Zone Supporter

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    Pardon me, but I don't remembering ever hearing anybody in the last 20 years saying the Dallas Cowboys WEREN'T competing for a championship
  5. Eskimo

    Eskimo Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone actually paid attention to how we have fared over the years against the SB champs?

    2006: beat Indy (their first loss of the year, 11-0?)
    2007: beat the Giants twice handily
    2008: narrow loss to Pittsurgh in OT in storm with 3rd string RB and Romo with a broken hand
    2009: beat Saints handily (their first loss of the year, 13-0?)
    2010: crushed by the Packers (Romo out, Wade's last game)
    2011: narrow loss to Giants after being up 12 with under 5 minutes to go
    2012: narrow loss to Ravens, could have won with last minute FG

    This team for the most part has had the talent to go toe-to-toe with the best teams in the league. So long as Romo has been at QB there have only been a few games where we have been trounced, most notably the 2008 season finale against the Eagles at the end of the TO-turmoil year.

    The problem has always really been a fatal flaw in the roster that gets us undone. Let's review it year by year.

    2006: fatal flaw was bad coverage from slow ILBs

    2007: fatal flaw was bad coverage from slow LBs and really bad #3 and #4 CB. I really think we would have won it all had TO been at 100% and Terry Glenn came back healthy for the playoffs. We really should have beaten the Giants that day and the Pats were getting progressively weaker during the year.

    2008: Here the biggest problem was bad secondary play, weak OL depth (Cory Proctor year) and lack of playmaker at WR with TO's age setting in. It is too bad Miles and Felix got hurt as their playmaking ability could have made a big difference for this team.

    2009: This was a very good team still but the biggest problem was the OL started to age - particularly the OTs with Colombo crumping in the middle of the season and returning in poor form. Then Wade, the vet coach, put Colombo back in over Free who was playing well which was a gigantic mistake. Then while Colombo is being owned by Ray freaking Edwards tot he tune of 4 sacks and about 10 QB pressure/hits, Flo goes down with a "calf strain". It is a shame because we really had the talent to beat the Vikes if the OL plays half decent that day and we had already shown we could beat the Saints and the Colts.

    2010: this was the swan song for that vet OL which just really fell apart this year. the defense also really started to collapse mostly because the front 7 wasn't as dominant in the pass rush anymore which really began to expose a poor secondary with very little help coming from the ILBs (James and Brooking) and the Safeties (Ball and Sensy).

    2011: this was a rebuilding year but we almost made the playoffs. The OL started badly but then played well in the middle when we went on the hot streak with Murray and Fiametta but then Murray got hurt and Holland got injured in the Eagles game which put Dockery out there. This was compounded by Kosier's legs falling apart and Doug Free falling apart. However, the biggest problem again was the secondary with TNew playing terrible down the stretch for yet another injury problem, Jenkins went down with that horrible shoulder injury and that got guys like Ball and Frank Walker out there playing CB and we were overmatched by the season finale. Things might have turned out better for us if Romo's hand wasn't hurt and Jenkins was healthy.

    2012: Again the biggest problem with this team was the secondary from poor play by the Safeties (Sensy and McCray) - losing Church was a huge blow as McCray was terrible. This was compounded further by Rat missing most of the year, Lee missing most of the year, Carter going down in week 11 and Ware playing the last half of the year with a badly injurd shoulder and elbow. Here again the OL really struggled blocking for the run and also often really struggled protecting Romo against the pass rush. The biggest problem is that OL needed the threat of a running game or a screen game to take some of the steam out of the DL pass rush but we could do neither of those things.

    2013:??? We have made some strides at OL but we need to see how Tyron looks this year. For all the grief he took from the penalties he blocked for the run quite well and only gave up 3 sacks. Free looked to be playing better towards the end of the year and Parnell looks quite capable now as the backup who might beat out the vet. Then on the inside we'll have to see how well TFred can play in his rookie year. We know he has the strength and the smarts to succeed but we just need to see if he can adjust quickly to NFL quickness. Then there is the question of the OG spots but those won't be as important if the other 3 spots go according to the optimists scripts. Even here there is hope with Leary looking good, Killer is healthy again, Costa could be moved over to OG and Arkin is allegedly stronger. So I think there is room for hope there. Romo looks like he might have his best set of skill players since 2006 when he had TO in his prime, Glenn in his prime, Witten in his prime, Julius and MB3 in the backfield and Crayton as his #3 WR. Now we get the superstar Dez, a resurgent Miles, Witten the grizzled vet with Hanna and Escobar in the wings, Twill as the deep threat, Murray and Randle at RB.

    I think the biggest reason for optimism though is the defense may be ready to finally turn this around after 3 bad seasons in a row. The keys will be pass rush from the veteran front 4 playing the new scheme under the tutelage of Marinelli, the new set of fast LBs and the new pair of Safeties out there patrolling things. Add to this 2 very good CBs and there is potential to be really good if the Safety play comes through.

    So I kind of think Stephen is right. We have been close over the years but this may be the most complete team we have fielded since 1995. There has always been 1-2 major flaws that have done us in. The playoff caliber teams found our soft underbelly and attacked it. I really think the OL and secondary may have been patched better than anyone realizes yet. The real keys are TFred stepping up and the young Safeties playing up to their potential.

    We are also helped this year by what appears to be a softer schedule as we get the AFC West where only the Broncos are good and the NFC North where only the Packers are real good. We also get a 3rd place schedule.

    This team is very good and cohesive and I think all the youngsters we have drafted and developed since Garrett came in charge are really going to start hitting their peaks:

    Dez
    Lee
    Carter
    Tyron
    Murray
    Mo
    Church

    These are the guys whose big jump in level of play is going to drive us forward. They will joint up with the vets who are still playing well:

    Miles
    Witten
    Ware
    Spencer
    Hatcher
    Carr
    Rat - when he is healthy
    OScan

    Finally there is a large group of kids for which we are hoping big things may yet happen. It is hard to judge them until they can play more and show us what they have got when healthy and with a little more experience under their wings:

    TFred
    Parnell
    Crawford
    Liessmore
    M Johnson
    Wilcox
    TWill
    D Harris

    We have a nice mix now of a franchise QB in his prime, a bunch of vets who are past their peak but still playing well, a group of players about to hit their primes and some youngsters just getting accustomed to the league who may make a big jump in their play.

    Moreover I think we finally now have the coaches we need to implement everything and get the most out of all these players. Callahan is a very good OC and he has a zone blocking up and comer in Pollack who will guide this OL forward. Gary Brown has done some good work with RBs at his last stop and hopefully that'll continue. Dooley just put 2 WRs into the NFL and seems to have Dez really excited and focused and so long as he keeps Dez on track anything else from him is gravy. Wes Phillips has been quickly climbing the coaching ladder and has a lot of talent under him and Jason Witten to lead by example so things should be great there. The coup de grace is the defensive staff with 4 excellent coaches: Kiffin, Marinelli, Eberfluss and Jerome Henderson. They have a bunch of talented players now and I think they are going to get them playing to their potential and causing lots of havoc.

    This group of guys has great talent but this year there is also more depth now. We can probably get by so long as Romo doesn't go down for an extended stretch. People criticize the offense and say it is the same with the same bad OL but they fail to realize the offense wasn't that bad. We just couldn't run the ball in the first half but could really score when we decided to sling the ball down the field. I think we were ranked #10 for scoring per possession. The big problem is we didn't get enough possessions because the defense wasn't getting turnovers. Our ranking was even higher when corrected for field position which wasn't great because the defense wasn't that good and we weren't getting short fields from turnovers. We only intercepted 7 passes all year. Marinelli's defense last year caused 45 turnovers. I'm not expecting 45 but Kiffin and Marinelli averaged about 30 while at Tampa Bay and that will be enough to propel this team forward.

    In short, I really like this team and I think all of us will once we get to see what they look like this year.

    I am even more excited to see how they look like in 2014 once the young guns have hit their peaks. Garrett and the FO have put together a roster that looks like it will be good for awhile. It was a tough 3 years transitioning from the old vet group that just couldn't quite get over the hump but this is a new team with a new core of guys coming into their own. The last time we were in this situation back in 2007 the drafts went sour when Jerry lost his anchor, BP. He now has a younger one here in Garrett who continually strives for improvement and competition. We always want better players, we want the players to push each other and be accountable to each other and we want a stream of young players coming in to constantly rejuvenate the roster. That is how you have to manage your team in the salary cap era and I think Jerry finally gets it now.

    Sorry if I've gone overboard but I am tired of all the pessimism around here. We are called fanatics for a reason and we are the core fanatics of a great team with a great history that is about to go out there and restore our proud tradition of winning football the Dallas Cowboys way. It is okay to be optimistic and happy - life is better that way.
  6. fairviewfarmer

    fairviewfarmer Member

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    Now we get "Jerry speak" from Stephen..........I knew it had to happen eventually, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.......
  7. Risen Star

    Risen Star Likes Collector Zone Supporter

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    Because these are the decision makers and their perception of the roster effects how they handle player acquisition.

    I can't imagine why any informed fan wouldn't care what they think.
  8. Risen Star

    Risen Star Likes Collector Zone Supporter

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    I don't agree. "Nicely" would mean a concerted effort to revamp the trenches, since the team is weakest in this area and you can't be a contender until it's fixed.
  9. Idgit

    Idgit Ice up, son. Ice up! Staff Member

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    The fact is, the team *is* competitive.

    I know you don't agree. You don't agree because you've got the wrong idea about what wins NFL games and you draw lots of wrong conclusions about what's going on as a result. But teams win while losing in the trenches all the time.

    Not to mention your estimation of the quality of the players we have in the trenches--especially on defense, is way off.
  10. Idgit

    Idgit Ice up, son. Ice up! Staff Member

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    :clap:

    This was a giant love letter, but it was also a really good read, Eskimo.
  11. Eskimo

    Eskimo Well-Known Member

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    It was a love letter - an homage to my team which has battled over the years with one hand tied behind its back. I have a special place in my sports heart for some guys on the team - most notably Ware, Romo, Rat (when he's not crazy and threatening 70 year old men) and Ware. They have battled so hard for so long without a lot of public support.

    I don't know why our "fanatics" have turned so sour against a team that has been usually decent over the last 10 years (two losing seasons) and has been very entertaining for most of that time. The latest renditions of those teams has been more entertaining than ever and they fight to the last second no matter how outmanned they are. I was proud of the way they battled against the Skins. Romo led them down the field without a running game, Miles and Dez. Then everyone acts as though he chokes when he is trying to go down the field again without a running game and no Miles, Dez or Harris. It was a tough situation and he pressed and made a bad throw under extreme duress. Meanwhile Payton makes the losing throw in OT against the Ravens deep in his own end with good protection in a game where he threw a pick 6 and was benefitted by two kick returns for a TD. Yet Romo is the one who farces barbs and arrows.

    I love this team. It is a passion of mine and I am going to think positively about all the good things that are happening with them. Fanatics are supposed to believe in their team when they have a realistic shot and right now it looks like we do. So go ahead and believe - it is okay, no one is going to lock you up for it :laugh2:
  12. Erik_H

    Erik_H Good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun.

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    Someone please copy this statement onto the home page.
  13. Everlastingxxx

    Everlastingxxx All Star

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    Anything that comes out Jerry’s or Stephen’s mouth reminds me of Cam Brady and his book Rainbow land.
  14. Risen Star

    Risen Star Likes Collector Zone Supporter

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    No, I don't agree because I understand football and won't pretend things are fine even if it threatens my rooting interest. Games are won or lost in the trenches. That is a football fact that any coach on the planet would tell you.

    The Cowboys are weakest where it matters most. The overall talent level may be enough to be one of these 10 win teams who can get hot and win it all in a bad NFL, but where the talent is spread out on this roster is fatally flawed. You don't win with slop on your OL and an aging declining DL with no depth.

    It's really as simple as that. Whether I like it or not is really irrelevant. It's an honest evaluation of the state of the team that has been supported by the failure of the team over the years. This is why they don't win despite having a good coaching staff and a franchise QB. They lose the line of scrimmage on a consistent basis.
  15. Zordon

    Zordon Well-Known Member

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    Fairly or not, Ware, Romo, Witten, Rat, Free, and Spencer are tagged as losers by a lot of the fanbase. They've been part of the status quo here for a lot of bad times the last 5-7 yrs. I know you can pinpoint games like the bengals game last year or the niners game the year before where it has been fun being a fan of this team but lets be reality, the majority of the last 5 years has been disappointing, mediocre football and sub par to this franchise's standards. Those six players being here for most of it as leaders of the team, get most of the blame and get tagged as chokers, losers, etc. It also doesn't help that the legacy of the triplets still holds strong in the fanbase.
  16. Eskimo

    Eskimo Well-Known Member

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    You certainly have a point here about the failure of team building over the last several years. By and large this team has had weaknesses that other teams have taken advantage of and it has resulted in a paucity of post-season success.

    However, I don't think football is as simple as the team that wins the trenches wins the game. Once upon a time the rules for coverage in the secondary were much looser. In the evolution of the rules of the game between the protection of the QBs from big hits, receivers from big hits, the tight rules against contacting receivers more than 5 yards off the line of scrimmage has changed the game from one largely played in the trenches to one played more in space. I do agree that if you cannot pass block or run block adequately that you will have difficulty moving the football effectively but you don't necessarily need to be great at it. Average to above average is often enough if you have a good QB and good skill players and that is what we have. What we have not had though is average.

    Now is it possible that we will be average now with the addition of Frederick, the maturation of Tyron, Costa, Leary, Killer, Arkin and Parnell, and perhaps more health from Bernadeau that we can rise to average to above average this year. I think this is likely to be the case this year abetted by the addition of the Pollack and the move to more of a zone blocking scheme and basing more of the passing game off of play action passing. I think we will now afford the RBs more holes to run through and we will afford Romo that extra tick that he needs to let his receivers come uncovered.

    The other thing that you have to account for is how much a young team with talent can improve from year to year. We have had a huge infusion of youth now and we saw how much Dez improved from year 1 to year 2 to year 3. We saw Sean Lee and Bruce Carter improve markedly but both their years were cut short last year and now they are back at full strength and a year wiser. We're also going to get significant growth elsewhere including the Safety play from Church, Allen and Matt Johnson. I also think the front 4 is going to be far more disruptive in the current scheme than they have been in the past with Marinelli coaching them up - 3 of them have been in the Pro Bowl in the past 2 years and you could argue that Hatcher has been the best player overall the past 2 years and he's the one who hasn't gone. The difference we'll probably see this year is more dedication to giving snaps to deserving youngsters like Crawford (down to 285), Lissemore (hampered all year by a bad ankle in 2012), Wilber (excellent explosition numbers for a pass rusher) and Ben Bass (flashed quite a bit last preseason). This will let the vets play more snaps fresh and at full intensity. They don't have to play the run anymore - that is the LBs responsibility. Ware doesn't have to worry as much about setting the edge - he is free to chase down the QB coming from far out wide where his speed and reaction time will give him a bigger advantage than he has ever had before.

    So I agree we haven't been good enough in the past. I think we have fixed the Achilles' heels from years past. There is more talent along the OL, the LBs are now all good in coverage, the Safety play is upgraded, the pass rush is going to be more intense, the skill position players are going to be better. I think we are finally going to see the vision that Garrett wants for his team to finally start to shine through and it will take everyone by surprise just like the early 90s Cowboys did.

    Do I think we could add a couple more pieces to be better? Yes, but that is always going to be the case. We have a HC who understands the importance of youth and he is not going to let this roster get old, fat and self-satisfied. That is not how he envisions the Cowboys in the modern salary cap age of the NFL. The team must constantly be re-inventing itself because of the hard cap - if you acquire too many top players you will have to let some leave in FA and then try to replace them. You decide who is your core and you try to extend them early when costs are more reasonable and the players are more interested in financial security by getting the guaranteed money upfront before they possibly tear up their bodies.

    So let's see how the team performs before we throw in the towels. Callahan and Marinelli are smarter than you are giving them credit for. I think we have enough upfront to win and probably have one of the top 5 DLs in the league now that Ware and Spencer have their hands in the dirt.
  17. Idgit

    Idgit Ice up, son. Ice up! Staff Member

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    And yet, the teams that win it all aren't the teams that are strongest each year in the trenches. Go figure.

    And, please. I don't pretend things are 'fine.' I know what the issues are with the team. It's turnover differential and red zone scoring limitations that are the problems that get us beat by good teams, and these limitations aren't generally the fault of what goes on in the trenches. I must have said this a hundred times in a hundred different posts, so I'm officially dispensing with the silly idea that I can't get past a 'rooting interest' when talking about the Dallas Cowboys just because I understand that it'd be foolish to over-invest limited resources at the OG position.

    I'm sorry, Risen, because I believe you do try to be honest when you look at things, and I know you're not one to let your allegiance get in the way of your opinion. I can respect that. You're just coming to the wrong conclusion over and over again. The reality is, 'winning in the trenches'--whatever that is and however that's supposed to be measured--just isn't that important to winning it all.

    Getting pressure on the QB on defense matters. And having good enough pass protection that you can pass effectively on offense matters. But good teams with great QB play win all the time despite limitations along the OL.

    Things are obviously easier if you have better protection and if you can get more pressure. But we've got good pressure players and an outstanding QB. If we just keep ILBs on the field with some range in coverage and get good safety play on defense and buy time on protection up the middle and make the right route adjustments on offense, we're winning the games against good teams that got us beat last year.
  18. jobberone

    jobberone Ginsu Wolverine Minion Staff Member

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    While I wholeheartedly agree with this (unfortunately it being the cold hard truth) I refuse to give into their same negativity. Jeez, does every day have to be a rainly bleek one? The Giants lost 5 or 6 st8 games and turned around and won the whole thing. If that's not parity I don't know what is.

    Here's the list with the odds of each team being in the SB per Vegas at the beginning of the year.

    Odds to win the 2014 Super Bowl XLVIII
    San Francisco 49ers 6/1
    Denver Broncos 15/2
    New England Patriots 8/1
    Seattle Seahawks 9/1
    Atlanta Falcons 12/1
    Green Bay Packers 12/1
    Houston Texans 18/1
    New Orleans Saints 18/1
    Baltimore Ravens 20/1
    New York Giants 20/1
    Chicago Bears 25/1
    Pittsburgh Steelers 25/1
    Dallas Cowboys 28/1
    Washington Redskins 28/1
    Philadelphia Eagles 30/1
    Cincinnati Bengals 35/1
    Indianapolis Colts 35/1
    Detroit Lions 40/1

    2013 Ravens 49ers 10/1 5/1 (we were 8/1)
    2012 Giants Patriots 33/1 5/1
    2011 Packers Steelers 10/1 8/1
    2010 Saints Colts 22/1 8/1
    2009 Steelers Cards 20/1
    2008 Giants Patriots 28/1 2/1
    2007 Colts Bears 5/1
    2006 Steelers Seahawks
    2005 Patriots Eagles
    2004 Patriots Panthers
    2003 Bucs Raiders
    2002 Pats Rams
    2001 Ravens Giants
    2000 Rams Titans

    Well, I've worked on this for over 12 hrs but can't finish the rest from here in China as the internet keeps crashing. But you get the picture that seldom does the SB favorite actually win the SB and longer odds teams do so fairly frequently. So taking flyers on 10-30 to 1 teams isn't a bad idea.

    Unexpected teams compete every year esp in the NFC East. It's not hype to think any East team can compete for the SB. I predict the East will go to either the Boys or the Giants this year.
  19. Toruk_Makto

    Toruk_Makto Well-Known Member

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    A bunch of people crying and whining and ignoring the fundamental shift that has occurred in player acquisition, player accountability and performance.

    When the music starts playing...and there are men and women kissing in the street...your doubts will be remembered.

    Your bandwagon hopping will be documented. Your ignorance will be laid bare. And when you think and hope that people have forgotten. I will be there I will remind you. I will remind everyone.
  20. Toruk_Makto

    Toruk_Makto Well-Known Member

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    Oh and just so we're clear....

    Risen just declared the Packers as a team that isn't being built "nicely" and are therefore not contenders.

    You should work in a front office somewhere.

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