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The Great Social Experiment: Talent or Team?

 

One thing that excites me about this season is seeing the outcome of the Cowboys change in philosophy.  Does a great team beat great talent or will talent usually triumph?

It seems pretty clear that the Cowboys have less individual proven talent than last year – TO, Ellis, Pacman, Canty being the main losses.  Now it may be that others step up into the void but as yet this talent is unproven. 

 

Question is whether a stronger team culture and football focus will more than offset this reduction in talent.  If this was a Hollywood movie you know it would, but this is reality and the NFL is a tough place to win. 

 

The answer of course is a bit of both.  A team that has significantly inferior talent is never going to go all the way – regardless of how well they play as team.  They will eventually come up against a team with stronger talent that has a sufficiently solid team culture to be effective.  A team with great talent that play as individuals will never be a consistent winner, particularly in pressure situations.  Football is the ultimate team game – if anyone freelances or doesn’t trust or support his teammate the whole structure is weaker. 

 

To me the secret is that you need sufficient talent to be competitive but that ultimately the strongest team cultures win.   Do the Cowboys have that?  We won’t know for sure till the team is in a pressure situation with the game on the line.  It is those “moments of truth” that will tell the story.  But at this stage the “vibe” seems very positive and focussed.  In contrast it seems all three of our rivals in the NFC East have a few distractions – Vick, Osi going walkabout, Skins undermining Campbell etc.   See Mosley’s article:

http://espn.go.com/blog/nfceast/post/_/id/2721/are-the-cowboys-the-most-stable-team-in-the-beast

 

I believe the team has made the right decision – trading off a little talent for a better team.  I really didn’t like the attitude that came across from last year’s team particularly when they were anointed SB favourites in the pre-season. 

 

Baring injuries and assuming some special teams improvement I think we are competitive and balanced.  A stronger team culture should put us over the top – our first playoff team in a while.   What do you think – has the team made the right choices?

 

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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