On Wednesday, May 21st, Tony Romo was a guest on the Ben and Skin show on 105.3 FM in Dallas. I was unable to listen to the interview live, but found a link through the show's twitter feed. The site that provided the playback of the phone interview didn't have a time index, but I believe the whole conversation lasted approximately 30 min. If you haven't listened to the entire interview, I highly recommend you do so here.
I'm not going to provide the entire transcript in this article, but I did want to touch on a few points that intrigued me. Again, if you have the time, I highly recommend you listen to the entire interview from the local CBS affiliate website here. Any mistakes and/or omissions in this transcription are my own.
Ben & Skin (B&S): Give us some insight as to why you think the 2014 version of the Dallas Cowboys could be better than the 2013 version.
Romo: I think the organization as a whole has a real good philosophy and we're building through the draft with some of the linemen that we're drafting on both sides of the ball. I firmly believe that that's how you win, you know, late in the year. That's how you're able to accomplish your goals because the best teams they just put a lot of pressure on the quarterback and they're able to protect the guys standing back there and they're able to run the ball and the other things that allow you to be good, when you're on the road and tough environments and things of that nature. It's a man's game. It's a very aggressive, physical game and you gotta have players who give you that chance to put the other team where they have to play a little faster than they want to and we gotta be able to have a little bit of time…I think the next four or five years are gonna be our best team…I also know over the course of the next couple seasons we're gonna be a much, much better football team than we've been in the last few years.
Most of his answer was fairly general, you'd expect all quarterbacks to say something along these lines, but it's the last two sentences that grabbed my attention:
I think the next four or five years are gonna be our best team…I also know over the course of the next couple seasons we're gonna be a much, much better football team than we've been in the last few years.
If you're thinking that there's not much to be gleaned from this statement, I agree with you. After all, what player wouldn't say his team will be better this year than last year? That's why I paid little attention to it at the time. It wasn't until much later in the conversation that I realized there was a little more meaning behind these words.
While Romo was answering an unrelated question about the possible difficulties of going out in public (the supermarket for example), he reiterated his earlier statement and added onto it with this:
I think the the next five years, our football team is gonna be better than it's been in seven years. I firmly believe that we've kind of had to get some pieces to kind of get back to where we were six or seven years ago and I think that we're getting close. And I hope it's this year, it might take two years, but I do know that our football team has improved and we're gonna be a team that has a chance to be special again. And that's exciting from my perspective.
Seven years ago, the 2007 Cowboys wielded an offense whose explosiveness was unmatched throughout the league save for one team: The 2007 Patriots. That New England offense was the most prolific in history with the exception of last year's Denver Broncos. Unknown to many non-Cowboys fans these days was the fact that Romo threw 36 touchdowns that year and of the team's 13 wins, 10 were by double digits. Dallas would enter December with an 11-3 record and cruise into the playoffs (as the #1 seed) only to be knocked out in the Divisional round.
But that's not the most insightful part. To me, what's most telling is the second sentence when Romo says "I firmly believe that we've kind of had to get some pieces to kind of get back to where we were six or seven years ago and I think that we're getting close."
This certainly isn't breaking news. In fact, there have been numerous examples given by BtB's front page writers and community members about how the team failed to continually replenish the talent pool of this franchise from 2007-2009. But what this tells me is that, in addition to Romo's tacit acknowledgement of the team's failings since that time, he also confirmed what many of us believed to be the case. That the front office has slowly worked a plan that attempts to keep this team competitive in the short-term (as evidenced by us being within a win of making the playoffs the past 3 years), and balanced that with a long-term goal of adding a talented foundation that sticks to the roster and solidifies this team's future.
In my next article centering on Tony Romo's interview, I'll allow Tony to elaborate as to what type of talented foundation I'm referring.
You can read part 2 here.