The Dallas Cowboys have one playoff victory in the past 16 seasons, but you wouldn’t know it by how glorified the franchise has continued to be well beyond its Super Bowl years. They’re not treated like the Bills and Jaguars. The media covers them with even more focus than the Packers and Steelers.
And the Cowboys are well aware that kind of culture can breed problems like the one cornerback Mike Jenkins has become, and the one Terrell Owens once was. Among players, there can be a sense of entitlement. As team COO Stephen Jones explained to NFL.com’s Albert Breer, the Cowboys made it a point this offseason to acquire players capable of “handling Dallas,” and the notoriety that comes with playing there.
“It’s up to us to get the right kind of guys, good character guys that are driven to win championships,” Jones said. “And not just to say, ‘I’ve got a Pro Bowl and I play for the Cowboys, I’m satisfied.’ That’s on us, to avoid those types of players.”
Per Breer, the Cowboys see tight end Jason Witten as “the poster boy” for players they’re now trying to collect. Up-and-coming linebacker Sean Lee is another, and the Cowboys hope new $50 million cornerback Brandon Carr will be one, too.
“Anyone who’s got red blood and plays football knows what the Dallas Cowboys are, and knows what it means to play for them,” Jones said. ‘They know it. … We tell them what a big stage it is. At one time, we had 18 players and coaches with radio shows. People can’t get enough of the Cowboys.
“And it can be something that can be with you for the rest of your life if you go win a championship, because there’s nothing like it when it’s rolling. The lesson is, ‘Go Win.’ You gotta go win a championship. That’s the lesson I take. And then, I’ll worry what happens after that.”