It’s a question you may ask yourself all the time, at least I do. Would you risk 10 years of the Cowboys’ future to win it all in 2016? It’s been 20 years since the Dallas Cowboys last achieved the ultimate glory in the NFL. Since that time, they have only made the playoffs eight times and have won only three playoff games. It almost makes you wonder if Jerry Jones sold his soul to the devil for three rings. As five-time champions, the Cowboys have wiggle room compared to some of their NFL counterparts. Make no mistake, though; this is a team that is starved for another championship.
Winning the big one is such a hard task to complete that there are currently four teams that have never even made an appearance; the Browns, Lions, Jaguars, and Texans. In addition to that, there are nine teams that have appeared in one but have never won. Those teams are the Eagles (2), Bills (4), Vikings (4), Bengals (2), Cardinals (1), Panthers (2), Falcons (1), Titans (1), and Chargers (1). Winning the Super Bowl is a tall task to complete and it often brings forth riches to a franchise plus everyone involved. Think about all the players the Cowboys’ had in the 90’s that cashed in on big contracts afterward. The defending champion Broncos have lost 11 players currently to free agency, five of which were starters and Carolina lost five of their own.
There is so much importance placed on winning the championship that teams poach players in hopes that it will add winning culture to their team. It doesn’t usually work either; I’m looking at Philly over there signing Byron Maxwell. The Cowboys may be one of the few circumstances that signing a big free agent led to big wins when they went after both Deion Sanders and the big catch, Charles Haley, but that was the fabled time of no salary cap. The NFL just isn’t set up for big free agency splashes to mean much. It’s all about building the team through the draft, which is a philosophy that the Broncos and Panthers of last year share.
Knowing all that we know now, would you risk it for the biscuit as they say? If the Cowboys were guaranteed a Super Bowl LI victory, would that be enough for you to mortgage the next 10 years of Cowboys’ football? I vote yes, here’s why:
1.) Let’s start with Jerry Jones. Though he may not be everyone’s favorite person in the organization, the man has been part of three championship seasons in Dallas. Love him or hate him, he has done everything in his power, sometimes good, sometimes bad, to restore this team to greatness. He’s brokered blockbuster TV/ sponsorship deals in contributions to the success of the league as a whole as well as kept his franchise relevant for two decades without major accolades. That is tough to do. He is single-handedly one of the smartest businessmen the NFL has ever seen. He’s getting the bulk of the credit for bringing the NFL back to one of the country’s, if not, the world’s, biggest markets in Los Angeles.
Winning another Super Bowl would assure that Jerry Jones takes his rightful place in the NFL history books as well as expedites his process to the Hall of Fame, a recognition he certainly deserves.
2.) Tony Romo has been under more scrutiny as a quarterback than any player I can remember and especially one that was undrafted out of Eastern Illinois. Every year, the media maniacs put new pressures on him with new ridiculousness - it’s truly become laughable. Romo is a four-time Pro Bowler and has the Cowboys’ top four slots for passing yards in a season. He’s the leading passer all-time for a Cowboys’ quarterback with 34,154 yards and counting. Add leader in touchdown passes to his many accolades with 247 and still going too. While we’re at it, he’s third all-time in NFL passer rating behind only Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson.
He has the most comeback wins of any quarterback since he became a starter (24) and is the NFL’s highest-rated fourth quarter passer at 102.1, five points better than second-place Rodgers. In 2014, he led all quarterbacks in virtually every statistic a quarterback is judged on and still finished behind Rodgers for league MVP with two bones broken in his back.
As it stands right now, Romo has only two playoff wins but that hardly can be placed squarely on his shoulders. In the twilight of his career, if you guaranteed me a championship for Tony Romo (my favorite player) I would certainly jump on that. The Cowboys ride and die with Tony Romo and I’m happy to join that ride every season. If he won one championship, it would not only cement his legacy with the Cowboys, but could put him in the running for Canton as the statistical king of the Dallas Cowboys.
3.) Out of all the years we’ve been fans and followers of the Cowboys, is there any one person besides maybe Bob Lilly that embodies what you want in a football player more than Jason Witten? He’s only missed one career game and has been by Tony Romo’s side for the entirety of his career. No quarterback-to-tight end in NFL history has racked up more completions. They are second in the NFL in yards for a QB-TE combination. Witten has been the example for many young Cowboys’ players since being drafted in 2003. He’s who everyone looks up to which is why DeMarco Murray’s advice to rookie Ezekiel Elliott was simply; stick to 82 like glue.
He’s 10th All-time in receptions on a list that includes Jerry Rice, Terrell Owens, and Tony Gonzalez. There is no doubt that he will move up a few more slots before it’s all over. Witten was the NFL’s Man of the Year in 2012, has been voted to 10 Pro Bowls and was elected to AP’s First-team All-Pro squad twice. Witten’s got 60 career touchdown grabs, 35 from Tony Romo.
He’s been the ultimate tight end for the Cowboys, so much so, it’s hindered the growth of anyone who wants to come after him. He’s a stand-up gentleman off the field with many local charities and organizations. He’s a gladiator on the field with several stories that have made it to Nick Eatman’s book. There isn’t a soul that has a negative word to say about him and he’s been the ultimate Cowboy and human being. A Super Bowl win for him would only be the icing on the cake for a guy that is destined to be a future Hall-of-Fame player and likely first-ballot. Winning a Super Bowl is what it’s all about and it’s what keeps Witten ticking.
So, would you do it? Would you make the sacrifice and endure a decade of nothingness from the Cowboys for one crowning moment in 2016?
"I've earned the reputation of someone who's willing to take a risk." -Jerry Jones