Confident Cowboys roping in the intangibles

IRVING, Texas — As the Dallas Cowboys prepare for their 50th season, surprisingly there is nothing brash or cocky about this team.

Instead, there is an air of quiet assuredness in 2010. You can see it resonating with the coaches and players, many who have been with the team for a while now. You also can see it in the proudest Cowboy of them all, owner/GM Jerry Jones. 

Jones has been waiting for that next Super Bowl winner nearly 15 years. With the stars potentially aligning for the Cowboys to play for it all in their home stadium, there are reasons to believe in this team.  

The Cowboys are quietly confident they can win their first Super Bowl in 15 years.
The Cowboys are quietly confident they can win their first Super Bowl in 15 years.

"That’s what you’re seeing: A trust in the system and a trust in what we’re doing," Jones said. "We’re getting to take some of things that we were real good at last year and expanding on that. I think it has a lot do with the confidence of the players in the coaching staff."

In addition to being confident, this talented team is showing more of the intangibles necessary to become a championship team:

Resolve. In two of Wade Phillips’ three years as the Cowboys’ coach, first-place finishes were immediately followed by second-round playoff defeats. Year 2 saw the team finish in third place. Although the team has gone through some adversity, from injuries to criticism, it has avoided calamity through camaraderie. 

"We’re a confident group, and we’ve just experienced a lot together," six-time Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten said. "The mindset of us as a football team is strong—strong as it’s probably ever been since I’ve been here." 

Experience. With four years of experience in Phillips’ defense and Jason Garrett’s offense, the players maintain their responsibilities and assignments. There is a trust factor between teammates.

"This team is more mature than we’ve probably ever been before," All-Pro nose tackle Jay Ratliff said. "The chemistry here is just really good. If you’re comfortable, you’re going to play fast." 

Tradition. Before Jon Kitna joined the team as QB Tony Romo’s backup last season, he played for the Seahawks, Bengals and Lions and thus hadn’t experienced much success. With the Cowboys, he sees a driven organization, something that easily spills over to the players. 

"They’ve done winning; they have been winning," Kitna said. "They have rings on the wall, pictures on the wall that talk about the winning. There’s a lot more success they can draw off of." 

Hunger. The team finally tasted that elusive playoff win over Philadelphia in January only to be humbled at Minnesota. So it’s a bittersweet feeling that keeps these Cowboys motivated and not overconfident. 

"They recognize that we’ve had a chance, knocked at the door over the last three years," Jones said. "We’ve only had a slight brush with the front door."

Vinnie Iyer is a writer for Sporting News. E-mail him at viyer@sportingnews.com.

IRVING, Texas — As the Dallas Cowboys prepare for their 50th season, surprisingly there is nothing brash or cocky about this team.

Instead, there is an air of quiet assuredness in 2010. You can see it resonating with the coaches and players, many who have been with the team for a while now. You also can see it in the proudest Cowboy of them all, owner/GM Jerry Jones. 

Jones has been waiting for that next Super Bowl winner nearly 15 years. With the stars potentially aligning for the Cowboys to play for it all in their home stadium, there are reasons to believe in this team.  

The Cowboys are quietly confident they can win their first Super Bowl in 15 years.
The Cowboys are quietly confident they can win their first Super Bowl in 15 years.

"That’s what you’re seeing: A trust in the system and a trust in what we’re doing," Jones said. "We’re getting to take some of things that we were real good at last year and expanding on that. I think it has a lot do with the confidence of the players in the coaching staff."

In addition to being confident, this talented team is showing more of the intangibles necessary to become a championship team:

Resolve. In two of Wade Phillips’ three years as the Cowboys’ coach, first-place finishes were immediately followed by second-round playoff defeats. Year 2 saw the team finish in third place. Although the team has gone through some adversity, from injuries to criticism, it has avoided calamity through camaraderie. 

"We’re a confident group, and we’ve just experienced a lot together," six-time Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten said. "The mindset of us as a football team is strong—strong as it’s probably ever been since I’ve been here." 

Experience. With four years of experience in Phillips’ defense and Jason Garrett’s offense, the players maintain their responsibilities and assignments. There is a trust factor between teammates.

"This team is more mature than we’ve probably ever been before," All-Pro nose tackle Jay Ratliff said. "The chemistry here is just really good. If you’re comfortable, you’re going to play fast." 

Tradition. Before Jon Kitna joined the team as QB Tony Romo’s backup last season, he played for the Seahawks, Bengals and Lions and thus hadn’t experienced much success. With the Cowboys, he sees a driven organization, something that easily spills over to the players. 

"They’ve done winning; they have been winning," Kitna said. "They have rings on the wall, pictures on the wall that talk about the winning. There’s a lot more success they can draw off of." 

Hunger. The team finally tasted that elusive playoff win over Philadelphia in January only to be humbled at Minnesota. So it’s a bittersweet feeling that keeps these Cowboys motivated and not overconfident. 

"They recognize that we’ve had a chance, knocked at the door over the last three years," Jones said. "We’ve only had a slight brush with the front door."

Vinnie Iyer is a writer for Sporting News. E-mail him at viyer@sportingnews.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*