At this time of year there's one question floating around somewhere in the minds of almost all NFL fans: Just how good will my team be this year? At this point in the offseason, when training camps haven't even started yet, all 32 NFL fan bases (except perhaps that of the Oakland Raiders) agree on one thing: Their team will be a playoff contender in 2013. And that's okay. We're fans. It's our job to be optimistic.
We also know that as fans of our team, we are naturally inclined to think that whatever our team is doing is the best, and certainly better than whatever it is the Giants or Eagles are doing. We accept this as an integral part of our fanhood, but also try to be as objective about our subjectivity as we can be, as we also know that blind homerism can lead down a slippery slope.
And as we look at the leaders of our team, we have long ago internalized that they are not prone to hyperbole in any way, shape or form. The likes of Tony Romo, Jason Witten and DeMarcus Ware have avoided making any public proclamations in the past, almost to a fault. But that looks to have changed this year.
Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas writes today that Tony Romo gave a news conference at his annual football camp in Wisconsin. One of the questions he was asked in the course of that press conference was whether playing the Packers was still a cool thing for the Wisconsin native. Here's what Romo replied:
"It's cool because they're good. It will be a great test. We're going to be pretty good this year. This is one of the most complete teams that I've been around. It's going to be a very enjoyable football season."
Yesterday, Jason Witten was honored in his home town of Elizabethton, Tennessee, and while speaking to a crowd gathered for the ceremony, Witten spoke about a potential Super Bowl win:
"This is a great kickoff to the 2013 NFL season. And when I'm standing in New York some early February day, holding up that Lombardi Trophy with snow coming down on my face, I'll thank each and everyone of you here that allowed me to have Jason Witten Day."
Earlier this year, in an interview with ProFootballTalk, DeMarcus Ware was adamant that the Cowboys will not go 8-8 for the third consecutive year.
"We will not be .500," Ware said. "We will not be .500 like the last two years we’ve been, I can tell you that."
There's no sense in quoting Jerry Jones here, because he essentially promises post-season glory every year. But the fact that three of the key leaders of the Cowboys are talking up the team's chances this year has got to get you thinking.
So folks, what do you think? Could this be the year the Cowboys finally make a postseason run, or have these three players simply been around Jerry Jones too long?