The Dallas Cowboys always have lofty expectations placed on their shoulders every September when the NFL season begins.
The Cowboys franchise is one of the most prominent in the league and Jerry Jones is the league’s most visible and vocal owner. Championships are the expectation. Anything else is usually met with disappointment.
As such, the Cowboys have been incredibly disappointing for most of the last two decades. Dallas has just two playoff victories since winning Super Bowl XXX in January, 1996.
Safety Will Allen signed with the Cowboys this offseason and played the first five games of the season for Dallas before being released in October. The 10-year veteran of the Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pittsburgh Steelers joined Alex Marvez and Bill Polian on Sirius XM NFL radio Tuesday and said he believes the atmosphere around the Cowboys makes winning incredibly difficult.
“It was a very micro-managed atmosphere. Everything was heightened. Everything was very hyped. I didn’t feel the relationship and the bonding between players and coaches,” Allen said. “…I think that’s the rift that you get and everybody wonders why Dallas can’t win; why Dallas isn’t completing everything it needs to. The players are great. The players are tremendous. The coaches are some of the best in the business. You just need a cohesion there that allows players and coaches to really execute and do their jobs and it’s not something hanging over their heads.”
Allen said he felt like there was a constant weight on all the players and coaches in Dallas that making a mistake would get you benched or cut. He feels that pressure can have a negative impact on the team
“That’s not fun for anybody,” Allen said. “…We understand that it’s a business but football is a business. Winning is our business. But if we’re not a team, if we’re not together in it all, then we have nothing.”
Allen said the environment is different in Pittsburgh and he believes their approach is better suited to getting the most of their players. Allen re-signed with the Steelers after being released by Dallas and has 11 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble in six games for Pittsburgh.