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Stephen Jones: Cowboys working to correct “killer instinct”

Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys Getty Images

It feels like we’ve been here before.

The Cowboys enter yet another late season game with questions about their “killer instinct” and “mental toughness.” This is what happens when you blow fourth quarter leads five times in a year, including three double digit fourth quarter leads.

Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com and Sirius XM radio asked executive vice president/COO Stephen Jones about the team’s lack of killer instinct this season.

“Obviously, there’s a question mark there and rightfully so. It’s something we’re working to correct. I think we’ll see some of that when we play the Giants on Sunday night,” Jones said.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement of his own team’s toughness.  Can killer instinct be corrected?

Former Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith took it a step further saying the Cowboys don’t have enough leaders. Smith questioned the Cowboys’ mental toughness.

Tony Romo, who has quietly had a terrific stretch run, disagreed with the notion.

“We had a big game at San Francisco earlier in the year,” Romo said Thursday via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “It felt like a must-win at that time, and we went out there and laid it on the line, and the team won, and we were trailing late in that game. So there was a lot of mental toughness in that game. I think we went up to Washington in a game that was big for us there and showed a lot of mental toughness there.”

Romo’s reputation as someone who comes up short in the clutch isn’t entirely fair, but few reputations are fair.

Romo and the entire Cowboys organization has a golden opportunity Sunday night to change their reputation. At least for a week.

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55 Responses to “Stephen Jones: Cowboys working to correct “killer instinct””
  1. cowboyhater says: Dec 29, 2011 5:15 PM

    You don’t have that “killer instinct” because you are a reflection of your coach.

  2. fissels says: Dec 29, 2011 5:18 PM

    They’re bonna neet more than instincts to beat the Jints. They’re gonna need good execution

  3. papacrick says: Dec 29, 2011 5:26 PM

    This has a Lions -Giants first round matchup written all over it.

  4. duanethomas says: Dec 29, 2011 5:27 PM

    Get Tebow as your qb and there will be no more blown leads, just comebacks. I’ve been watching the NFL for over 50 years and NO has had the leadership or intangibles like Teb ow. He is going the change the culture of the NFL and is the biggest personality since Ali. If you agree thumbs up. If you think he will be a great qb thumbs down!

  5. waxthat says: Dec 29, 2011 5:28 PM

    You either have it or you dont. See Lebron James

    Difference is, Lebron has Wade to make the clutch plays. Tony Doesnt.

  6. ballsooharduniversity says: Dec 29, 2011 5:31 PM

    they are also lacking a consistant QB, a head coach, D-cord. and an actual GM

  7. worldwidebleater says: Dec 29, 2011 5:35 PM

    I think they have a killer instinct. Rob Ryan just killed three quarts of chicken gravy.

  8. commandercornpone says: Dec 29, 2011 5:36 PM

    ok there…

    maybe u could explain the jets game.

    or the lions game. really, the lions game.

    or… the pats game.

    wait… what about the az game? regulation time and overtime, this is a 2-parter…

    then there is the giants game.

    start anywhere u want, romo etc.

  9. chocolatebaconbutter says: Dec 29, 2011 5:38 PM

    You can’t correct this. Either you have it, or you don’t. It’s an intangible. Like leadership. You can’t practice “killer instinct” or leadership.

    You CAN fire a head coach though…

  10. ppc50 says: Dec 29, 2011 5:41 PM

    Little late for an attitude change, never happens in a week. With Garrett at the helm, there is no sense of urgency or desire. That being said, Jr has a lot of desire for other “conquests” during training camps in San Antonio. I think the priorities are a little backwards.

  11. hrmlss says: Dec 29, 2011 5:41 PM

    Getting rid of it? They’ve been doing that for years.

  12. Soulman45 says: Dec 29, 2011 5:47 PM

    Cowgirls Cowgirls do this team have hart or don’t they that is a good question.

  13. fittytuckin says: Dec 29, 2011 5:49 PM

    It’s either you have mental toughness/killer instincts or you don’t. It can’t be taught or corrected.

  14. deepbacksidedig says: Dec 29, 2011 5:49 PM

    Romo and the O are not getting it done while these teams come back on them. N’olins, Green Bay, New England all
    get slippery, but the O keeps going, outruns them, slams it shut.
    Romo is just not at that level. None are, but the criticism is appropriate.
    Get it done, or get criticized. Does not matter if you win 17-13, or 48-45. Need more points? Score. That is the NFL right now.

  15. tinopuno says: Dec 29, 2011 5:50 PM

    Ewww! Poor Tony!

    His reputation as a choker isn’t fair! Ewww!! Ewww!

  16. starfan79 says: Dec 29, 2011 5:50 PM

    T-New needs to go, along with Brooking and Bradie James…. Should have signed Jonathan Joseph in the offseason.

  17. nard100 says: Dec 29, 2011 5:52 PM

    Uh, a killer instinct isn’t something you “correct”. You either have it or you don’t and the cowboys do not. Besides, Romo’s hand is broken so it’s a moot point anyway.

  18. nflfollower says: Dec 29, 2011 5:54 PM

    Reputations are actually earned about as often as they are unfair. I would say the cowboys have earned their reputation, just as the G men have earned their reputation as a maddeningly inconsistent team. Oh well, sunday night will be interesting because of what’s at stake. It will ad to or refute romos reputation in big games.

  19. edhochuli says: Dec 29, 2011 5:55 PM

    Emmitt Smith was a great RB but he needs to shut up already. He was the self anointed “diamond in the rough” in Dallas before getting released. Then came back as a Cardinal and ran for I believe was 8 yards and got knocked out of the game. Tiki 2.0.

  20. realmendontletothermenleaponthem says: Dec 29, 2011 6:02 PM

    Eight words I never expect an article to be titled – “Your General Manager of the year – Jerry Jones”

  21. mrba4775 says: Dec 29, 2011 6:03 PM

    i told u guys that the cowboys will correct that perception on sunday nite b 4 a national audience. romo will hav that killer instinct in his qb play on sunday nite, romo wil hav the last laugh, the cowboys will shock the world by upsetting the pitiful giants on sunday nite, guaranteed, the perception of romo choking will change when romo out shine eli who is not an elite qb.

  22. tinkletinkleonyourstar says: Dec 29, 2011 6:03 PM

    the only thing better than jerry jones owning the cowboys is the thought of stephen jones owning the cowboys and thus the cowboys staying under a jones’ control for many years to come.

  23. badmojo148 says: Dec 29, 2011 6:11 PM

    The San Fran game was only the second game of the season. How is that a “must win”? And as for the game in Washington, if Hochuli and his band of idiots didn’t call that game the Redskins would have won. Get ready for your early vacation Romo!

  24. lacharger2112 says: Dec 29, 2011 6:11 PM

    Romo and the entire Cowboys organization has a golden opportunity Sunday night to change their reputation. At least for a week.
    If they make the playoffs, they can solidify their reputation for failing in the playoffs for much longer!

  25. twitter:Chapman_Jamie says: Dec 29, 2011 6:18 PM

    Dear Jones family, stay the hell away from microphones! We don’t care what you have to say. Let a COACH talk!

    Sincerely,
    “Could be former fans”

  26. commandercornpone says: Dec 29, 2011 6:21 PM

    I will provide a few hints. first, dont ice yer own kicker. second, dont abandon the run game and give a hot shot qb enough time to come back and beat you. over and over again. third, keep the botox ranger off the sideline. it’s like getting a visit from the joker.

  27. nokoolaidcowboy says: Dec 29, 2011 6:22 PM

    Finally! Coach Garrett steps up and actually conveyed his thoughts on…oh, wait sec…that was Stephen Jones. Ohhhhhh…

  28. groess says: Dec 29, 2011 6:28 PM

    You can’t correct mental toughness. Either you got it, or you don’t.

  29. andyreidcarboload says: Dec 29, 2011 6:32 PM

    Translation? The Cowboys have no heart.

  30. waitingguilty says: Dec 29, 2011 6:36 PM

    Well not to worry…when I think “Tough” I think Steven Jones…so they have the best guy possible to lead them in their quest.

    Growing up in the mean streets of Dallas’ richest suburbs, trust fund and NFL FO job waiting for him at the ready.

    No accountability, never having to fight for anything, being “Born on 3rd base thinking he hit a triple…”

    PERFECT!

  31. stevebozeman says: Dec 29, 2011 6:39 PM

    Romo is an elite player. We are a secondary and 1 more pass rusher from the Superbowl. Let’s get it done. Go Boys!

  32. Manbearpig says: Dec 29, 2011 6:50 PM

    bet the cowboys choke just like in 09 when they were supposed to smoke the Vikes in the playoffs. ahahaha.

  33. buzzbissinger says: Dec 29, 2011 6:51 PM

    Naaaaaaahhhh, too easy.

  34. stevebozeman says: Dec 29, 2011 6:53 PM

    @starfan99
    You’re exactly right on all 3 players and Joseph.

  35. bingobrown12 says: Dec 29, 2011 6:56 PM

    Standing in front of a mirror going GRRRR GRRRR….
    ain’t going to cut it boys.

  36. youngry says: Dec 29, 2011 6:58 PM

    Stephen Jones… who learned all he knows from Jerry Jones.

    Stupid begets stupid.

  37. howley1 says: Dec 29, 2011 7:06 PM

    It’s funny to see the Eagles, Chargers, and Vikings fans chiming in hahahaha

  38. bigbluefan1 says: Dec 29, 2011 7:24 PM

    I just do not get it eli is not elite he is #3 in yards in the NFC behind Drew and Arron he is #4 if you throw in the other 16 QBs in the AFC behind Brady

    Eli has taken a kid off the street and turned him into one of the top WR in the NFL in his second year Cruz has broken the all time record of the Giants.

    So yeah keep talking about Romo being better and eli sucks
    Easy E has a Ring and MVP Title what does Romo have?

    Tony Romo = Mark Sanchase over rated and performing

    Eli makes more money in TV Comericals then Romo does as a QB

  39. brownwood26 says: Dec 29, 2011 7:38 PM

    “I think we went up to Washington in a game that was big for us there and showed a lot of mental toughness there.”

    And therein lies the problem in Dallas. You went on the road against a team in the midst of a 6 game losing streak and found yourself in a position to have to summon “mental toughness”. And in December, you’re citing examples from as early as September.

    Bottom line: if you have to craft an argument for why you think you’re mentally tough, you probably aren’t…

  40. sufferingbirdsfan says: Dec 29, 2011 8:44 PM

    The only thing that makes this horrible Eagle’s season bearable is the knowledge that Romo will fail once again and join us on the couch for the playoffs.

  41. yevrag3535 says: Dec 29, 2011 8:54 PM

    The only instinct Dallas has is to “suck”.

  42. commandercornpone says: Dec 29, 2011 9:16 PM

    brownie, it took a couple more gman starts for the skins to start that 6 game skid.

  43. vincentbojackson says: Dec 29, 2011 9:44 PM

    Hard to have a killer instinct when you hire a loud mouth mall Santa as your defensive coordinator.

  44. acieu says: Dec 29, 2011 10:33 PM

    They have the killer instinct–it’s directed against themselves as they commit suicide in almost all big games.

  45. nfceastisbeast says: Dec 29, 2011 10:43 PM

    i told u guys that the cowboys will correct that perception on sunday nite b 4 a national audience. romo will hav that killer instinct in his qb play on sunday nite, romo wil hav the last laugh, the cowboys will shock the world by upsetting the pitiful giants on sunday nite, guaranteed, the perception of romo choking will change when romo out shine eli who is not an elite qb.

    “shock the world by upsetting the Giants”???? How would that shock the world?? Aren’t they both 8-7 mediocre football teams? Looks like a toss up to me. KC beating the Pack shocked the world. And, there is NO WAY Romo is even in the same stratosphere as Eli. The Cowboys will lose “guaranteed” and you’ll say it was because Romo had a bad hand even though they say it was “fine”, he was pulled from Eagles game to rest him.

  46. cup0pizza says: Dec 29, 2011 11:19 PM

    95% of the comments so far prove that users of this site are idiots and know nothing about football.

  47. tashkalucy says: Dec 30, 2011 12:08 AM

    Give it up already!

    The most over-publicized team and QB in the NFL for decades!

  48. mschurm1 says: Dec 30, 2011 12:30 AM

    Nobody knows killer instinct like Stephen Jones.

  49. jerruhjones21 says: Dec 30, 2011 4:51 AM

    Skeletor sent his son, who has no qualifications beyond being a member of the lucky sperm club, to address the media…Cowgirl fans, we are hosed!

    I think it is time for me to consider becoming the fan of another team…

  50. jpb12 says: Dec 30, 2011 7:52 AM

    Maybe they’d be more motivated if the owner didn’t overpay them up front.

    Laurent Robinson’s payday is coming.

    One year flash.

  51. buschleaguebandit says: Dec 30, 2011 8:36 AM

    Can’t wait for Romo to torch the Midgets on Sunday night….When Dallas wins this game I guarantee that Dallas beats the Lions in the first round..Lets Go Boys, let the 5 game winning streak start sunday!!!!

    BTW the only reason PLI gets so much attention is because of his brother!

    Romo > Pli

  52. johnster67 says: Dec 30, 2011 8:38 AM

    Cowboys will never be anything more than a speedbump on the road to the Superbowl as long as jerky jones owns the club.

  53. johnster67 says: Dec 30, 2011 8:40 AM

    reminds me of that old joke, what do you call 40 millionaires sitting on the couch watching the superbowl?
    The Dallas cowboys.

  54. eagleshavelanded says: Dec 30, 2011 12:18 PM

    These cowgirls are delusional from top to bottom. Old jer, little stevie, fat boy rex, romo, all have agendas that glorify cowgirls mission. Their performance on the field does not back their words. They talk the talk, but they can’t walk the walk. Wait until next year when they have a tough schedule. This drama will soon be a comedy.

  55. horatio69 says: Dec 30, 2011 1:27 PM

    If Jerrah wants to know why his team lacks killer instinct, then he need look no further than his own mirror. His inability to share the credit/power with Jimmy Johnson has led to this team being mediocre ever since 1996.

    The players don’t play hard for the coach because they know Jerrah really runs the show. Same problem in DC with Little Napoleon Snyder.

    Players can’t play hard if 1) the wrong players are drafted in the first place, and 2) they don’t really respect the coach since he isn’t the top dog in the organization.

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