I've been watching profootball since I was in junior high. I've noticed one thing about the teams who are good over time and not just one year wonders. The Packers of the 60's, Steelers of the 70's, the 49ers, and 90's Cowboys all had a franchise quarterback, good running backs and receivers, a solid offensive line, and a defense that could stop most people. All of those teams built their success on several good drafts that provided the ammunition for a good coach to win with. When the players and especially when the quarterback got old, the team declined.
You can throw the Landry Cowboys in there, too, who were especially remarkable for the many years they won and who were fortunate enough to have more than one good quarterback. Things are more difficult now because the salary cap and free agency keep a team from stockpiling a winning lineup. The Cowboys find themselves out shopping for a Mercedes but may have to buy a used one because they have the budget to buy a Honda Civic.
There's a lot of talk about who will go and who will stay. A lot of that is about money, like the speculation about Spencer. Sometimes, it looks like there may be other things involved as well. Jones said he would like Austin to take a pay cut. I'm not sure Austin would agree and he has some leverage because the Cowboys don't have his replacement. You have to wonder if the talk about Stevie Breaston is rumor or serious consideration for Austin's replacement. Of course, it could also be a ploy to pressure Austin.
I've written before about keeping Conners at a lower salary, which might include a couple of years of minimums salary numbers and some incentives if he became a starter. I think Spears is gone, and Cook, at center is not safe. Jones likes Costa and we have Kowalski, too, who has shown some promise, before There was also a short comment by Jones about looking for a center/guard type in free agency. It wouldn't surprise me. The name that is something of a puzzle at the moment is that of Sensabaugh. If the Cowboys had depth at safety, or if Church and Johnson hadn't been hurt, then you might think about letting your veteran go. You could, with a couple of million cash, redo his salary and reduce his cap hit by the same amount you get if you release him. The fact that the Cowboys aren't saying that means they are either trying to get him to agree to a pay cut or they've decided he doesn't have the range to cover the field when the team is in a three deep pass defense which is common for the Tampa 2 teams. Stay tuned because a lot of decisions have to made be made fairly quickly and that will help those of us trying to speculate what move is coming up.