We have touched on the intangible topic of team chemistry periodically as part of the quarterback controversy discussion, but now it seems like the Dallas Cowboys are weighing in on just what goes into making one group of players more successful than another equally talented combination and it has nothing to do with who lines up behind Travis Frederick.
"The swag, man - the swag that we have. I can't say all the words that we use, but we just want it, man. We want to have fun with it. We want to just be us and feel free, ballin'." - Dez Bryant
What the Cowboys currently have is a belief in each other that is giving them an advantage on the gridiron. It is obvious from watching the body language during games. Last year's squad looked defeated before the first snap of the game while this time around the group comes out with that swag that Dez referred to. It is easy to tell that this group believes they are going to win.
The pass rush in Dallas has been the bane of the Cowboys defense for quit some time and the front office has taken multiple stabs to address the situation including the investment of multiple second round draft selections in the defensive end position. They have also brought in a highly touted free agent with the thought that he would get the rushmen on track.Now one of those pieces that the Jones family brought in is telling us that things are about to get good now that he has worked himself back into form after missing the first quarter of the season.
"I've been close a couple of times. But that doesn't matter. It's all about staying focused and keep getting after it each and every day. And when it does come, it's going to come in bunches. Believe that." - DeMarcus Lawrence
If D-Law can get back to where he was last season, when he led the club with eight sacks, then the second half of the 2016 season is going to look pretty good to the Dallas faithful.
One year ago this news would have gotten us excited about the possibility of the Cowboys being able to make a late stretch run toward a backdoor appearance in the playoffs 'where anything can happen', but that is no longer the case. There is no need to rush Romo back with Dallas setting atop a surprisingly strong division behind Dak Prescott. They can take their time with the veteran passer and allow him to get healthy. That is what the braintrust in the Cowboys front office is doing, but still the quarterback is hitting milestones along his way to getting back to the game.
All told, the Cowboys are near the top of the National Football League at this point in the 2016 season while the Cleveland Browns are, well they are in the position where you normally find the Browns. This weekend's game is certainly not being billed as the marquee match up of the week, but it will feature one of the better head to head contests pitting one of the game's best defensive backs against one of the best pass receivers. It also pairs up two men who have great respect for each other.
"I think it's going to be a fun competition. You look forward to moments like that. We're going to dap each other up, talk before the game, battle between the lines, talk after the game, most likely switch jerseys, switch cleats and stuff like that because we cool like that." - Dez Bryant
You will not hear anyone argue that the strength of the Dallas Cowboys is the teams defense, but that day might be coming. Dallas is turning in a respectable performance on that side of the ball this season, currently the team is 12th in total yards and seventh in scoring. This is a far cry from where they were ranked in recent seasons. Like everyone else associated with the team, Rod Marinelli's charges are convinced that their best days are in front of them. They are proud of what they have achieved and driven to continue the process.
"There a lot individuals that take pride in their craft and their job. It's a new season, a clean slate for us to come out here and rewrite history for ourselves. Enough is enough." - Brandon Carr
"It's a great team win, one of the best team wins I've ever been around, but I do want to feature and highlight one particular guy - our tight end, the guy who caught the last touchdown, the game-winning touchdown. There have been a lot of amazing football players who have played for this franchise since 1960, and there's no player that's started more consecutive games. There's no player that's played in more games. He's a big-time Pro Bowler. But that's not the story. The story is what he does every single day. He's an inspiration to me, to the coaching staff and I know to you guys." - Jason Garrett
That tells you what Witten means to the Cowboys, but it was the Senator's reply to his teammates that tells you what he thinks of the team's chances this season.
"This isn't about me, man. The story's just getting written, boy." - Jason Witten
Every man on the squad, from the legendary tight end on down is playing with a chip on their shoulder after last season. They believe in their ability, their leadership, and each other. Jason Witten feels that this is the team that can get it done, and he is not alone in that belief.